Nigeria has topped the chart amongst African countries importing from China in 2021 with imported goods valued at $23 billion (about N9.6trillion) or 16 percent of total continent’s imports from China.

But the country did not feature on the top 5 African countries in exports to China in the same period, as it recorded only $3 billion (about N1.3trillion) exports in the year.

These are contained in the data obtained by Financial Vanguard from China’s Custom agency.

Data from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) also shows the bilateral trade deficit against Nigeria is widening in favour of China, with a steady increase in Nigeria’s importation from the Asian country from 2019 to 2021.

The NBS data shows that Nigeria imported N6.53 trillion worth of goods from China in 9 months, January to September 2021, which is 14.8 percent higher than the N5.69 trillion worth of goods imported from the country in the whole of 2020, and 51.2 percent above total imports from the Asian country in 2019 valued at N4.32 trillion.

With the nine months report already indicating significant outpacing of the preceding year’s full year figure it is projected that the full year 2021 figure would be about 40 per cent higher.

Details of the NBS data revealed that the N6.53 trillion imports from China in the nine months ended September 2021 represents 29.75 percent of Nigeria’s total imports from all over the world valued at N21.95 trillion within the period.

The value of goods imported from China in 2020 at N5.69 trillion was 29.1 percent of total imports from all over the world during the year (N19.55 trillion), but the full year percentage share of China imports in 2021 is expected to massively outpace 2020 level.

This shows that despite the hard biting COVID-19, the 2020 imports from China, as a percentage of total imports, far outpaced 2019 levels which was 25.5 percent of the total. The 2019 total imports from all over the world was N16.96 trillion.

Exports profile

However, further details of the NBS data for the nine months 2021 shows that exports from Nigeria to China was valued at N486.57 billion, N633.48 billion in full year 2020 and N595.99 billion in 2019, indicating huge export deficits during the period.

Going by the prorated quarterly export figures the 2021 full year export figure is projected at N648 billion, just about 2.0 percent increase in exports compared to about 40 percent increase in imports.

During the 30 month period spanning January 2019 to June 2021, Nigeria spent about N14.10 trillion on importations from China, representing more than 28 percent of total imports valued at N50.31 trillion into the country within the period.

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