Nigeria Trade: What Are The Main Imports & Exports Of Africa’s Most Populous Country?

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In this economic guide to Nigeria we’ll give you an overview of the Nigerian economy, including the country’s primary imports and exports of goods and services.

Economy of Nigeria – Overview

The Federal Republic of Nigeria is commonly referred to more simply as “Nigeria,” and this West African country is the 50th largest export economy in the world.

Nigeria has annual trade balance of about -$10 billion after deducting imports of $52 billion from its export total of $42.4 billion. The value of its exports has fallen -$45.6 billion over the last seven years, falling from $97.6 billion to $52 billion.

Nigeria’s GDP

The GDP of Nigeria is $432.3 billion, which equates to a GDP per capita of $206. The African country is ranked 125 out of 127 on the Economic Complexity Index (ECI).

Nigeria’s Top 5 Commodity Exports

  1. Crude Petroleum – $30 billion
  2. Petroleum Gas – $5.89 billion
  3. Refined Petroleum – $613 million
  4. Cocoa Beans – $489 million
  5. Gold – $218 million

Nigeria’s Other Notable Exports

  • Coconuts, Brazil Nuts, and Cashews – $227 million
  • Other Oily Seeds – $406 million
  • Scrap Vessels – $1.29 billion

The top export destinations for Nigerian products are India ($6.3 billion), Spain ($4.8 billion), United States ($1.7 billion), France ($1.98 billion), and South Africa ($2.17 billion).

Nigeria’s Top 5 Commodity Imports

  1. Refined Petroleum – $7.7 billion
  2. Wheat – $2.15 billion
  3. Non-fillet Frozen Fish – $733 milion
  4. Rubber Tires – $400 million
  5. Raw Sugar – $442 million

Nigeria’s Other Notable Imports

  • Special Purpose Ships – $4 billion
  • Cars – $3.03 billion
  • Packaged Medicaments – $1.38 billion
  • Telephones – $771 million
  • Vehicle Parts – $602 million

Details About Nigeria’s Imports/Exports

Here we provide more detailed information on some of Nigeria’s top import and export products.

Crude Petroleum

Exports of crude petroleum are vital to Nigeria’s export economy and account for 70.8% of all its exports.

The most popular export destinations for Nigerian crude petroleum were India ($5.22 billion), Spain ($3.67 billion), and South Africa ($2.14 billion).

Petroleum Gas

Petroleum gas exports account for 13.9% of Nigeria’s total exports ($5.89 billion) which ranks the African nation 11th of global exporters of a worldwide export market that is worth $299 billion annually.

China is a major export market for Nigeria’s petroleum gas exports, taking about 16% of their output. India, Portugal, France and Spain are the other top recipients of Nigeria’s petroleum gas exports.

Cocoa Beans

Cocoa production is also important to the Nigerian economy since it’s the top agricultural export.

The Netherlands is a major destination for Nigeria’s cocoa bean exports, taking 32.1% of their annual total, with Germany (18.6%) being the second largest importer of this delicious commodity.

Rough Wood

The value of the worldwide rough wood export market is worth $25.1 million per year.

Interesting Facts About Nigeria

  • Nigeria is the most populous country in Africa. And with approximately 160 million people living there it has almost twice as many people as the second most populous African country, Ethiopia, which has 84 million inhabitants.
  • Nollywood is the the nickname for the Nigerian movie industry. It is ranked as the second largest producer of movies, producing up to 200 every week. Although this is behind Bollywood in India, it’s ahead of Hollywood in production numbers!

All figures based on OEC/IMF 2018 & 2020 calculations and projections unless otherwise stated.

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