Nigerian agricultural exports surged in the third quarter of 2017 on the back of increased production and good market performance by the major commodity sub-sectors.
In its analysis of export performance in the last quarter of 2017, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) said frozen shrimps, prawns, soya beans, cashew nuts and flour were the principal drivers of export growth.
The major export commodities were strongly supplemented by an uptick in the production and sales of ginger, cotton lint, Arabic gum, peas, onions, shallots, wheat flour and frozen crabs.
The report said sesame seed exports accounted for 26.36% of the total agricultural exports in the third quarter of 2017. The exports went to Turkey, China, Japan, Germany and the Netherlands.
Frozen shrimps and prawn exports to the Netherlands, Belgium, Vietnam, the United States of America and France accounted for 22.23% of the agriculture export sales in the period under review.
Soya beans accounted for 15.22% of exports, with Italy remaining the major market. More volumes were exported to emerging sub-Saharan African markets in Angola and Mauritania.
The other drivers of export growth included soya bean meal, flour, flowers, ginger and Nigerian cotton lint. However, cashew nut exports declined on the back of limited demand from Vietnam, India and Ghana.
According to the analysis, Nigeria’s major agricultural commodity consumers in the third quarter of 2017 were Europe at 46.05%, Asia at 39.13% and the Americas at 12.17%. Africa and Oceania accounted for 2.32% and 0.33%, respectively, of Nigerian agricultural export earnings in the same period.
In the same period, Nigeria imported large quantities of durum wheat varieties from Russia, the US, Australia and Canada. It also imported crude palm oil from Indonesia, Côte D’Ivoire and Ghana.
Other major agricultural imports include maize seed from Argentina, the US, Singapore, China and Turkey. The fisheries sub-sector imported mackerel from Russia, the Faroe Islands, Ireland, the Netherlands and Mauritania.