Stories by Benjamin Umuteme
The National Bureau Statistics (NBS) in its third quarter 2017 Foreign Trade Statistics revealed that the country earned N397 billion from the export of Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) and Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG).
In the report, NBS stated that the value of exported LNG and cooking gas stood at N386.028 billion and N11.835 billion respectively.
Generally, the report stated that total earnings from gas export in the period under review stood at N483.4 billion, comprising other gaseous components in addition to LNG and LPG Cooking Gas .
Specifically, the report disclosed that other petroleum gases export stood at N30.8 billion; Liquefied Propane export also fetched the country N19.113 billion; while the country exported N14.71 billion worth of naphthalene.
In addition, Nigeria exported liquefied butane worth N13.71 billion; other LPGs and other gaseous hydrocarbons valued at N7.199 billion.
NBS further revealed that India and the U nited States had bought Nigeria’s crude oil in the third quarter of 2017 , valued at N550.88 billion and N457.732 billion respectively. W hile Nigeria exported crude oil to Spain, Netherlands, France and Indonesia valued at N298.73 billion, N220.52 billion, N178.18 billion and N162.1 billion.
Also, South Africa, Canada, the United Kingdom and Italy purchased Nigeria’s crude oil valued at N161.5 billion, N148.9 billion, N107.5 billion and N100.9 billion respectively.
The Statistics report noted that crude oil exports, which contributed N2.972 trillion or 83.17 per cent to the value of total exports in the third quarter of 2017 still dominated export trade .
It said, “Exports by section revealed that Nigeria exported mainly mineral products, which accounted for N3.475 trillion or 97.2 per cent of the total export value. The second largest component was ‘prepared foodstuffs; beverages, spirits and vinegar; tobacco’, which contributed N25.81 billion or 0.7 per cent of the total exports.
“In the third quarter, Nigeria exported most products to Europe, with an export value of N1.293 trillion; Asia N1.035 trillion and America N826.98 billion. Value of Exports to Africa were only N367.28 billion, among which N114.93 billion worth of goods were exported to ECOWAS countries.”
The NBS had put the country’s total exports in the third quarter of 2017 at N3.573 trillion, representing a 15.19 per cent growth compared to the second quarter of the same year and a 53.85 per cent growth compared to the third quarter in 2016.
It had also noted that total imports in the quarter under review, in contrast, decreased to N2.349 trillion, representing a decline of 9.41 per cent quarter- on -quarter and 4.47 per cent on a year -on -year basis.
It added that trade balance of Nigeria in third quarter 2017 amounted to N1.225 trillion, due to a continued value increase in exports and a decline in imports.
“This figure in the third quarter more than doubled the value in the previous quarter and it is the first time that trade balance exceeded N1 trillion since the last quarter of 2014,” it explained
Higher oil prices slow China’s crude stockpile
Taking advantage of the low oil prices, China increased its Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR) by almost 14 per cent between June 2016 and June 2017, according to data by its National Energy Administration (NEA).
As oil prices increased in the third and fourth quarter this year, the pace of the Chinese state oil reserve stockpiling has eased, according to analysts cited by Reuters.
China rarely releases figures about its strategic reserves, and the data announced today is the first in eight months.
According to the NEA, China had 37.73 million tons of oil, equal to 275 million barrels, in nine bases by the middle of 2017, up from 33.25 million tons at end-June 2016.
In the previous Chinese update on its SPR, in April 2017, China said it had added 9.34 million barrels of crude oil to its state reserves during the first half of 2016, equal to an average fill rate of 52,000 bpd.
Reuters has estimated the fill rate in the June 2016-June 2017 period at 89,600 bpd, higher than the H1 2016 average, but much lower than the 2015 fill rate of 240,000 bpd.
“Stockpiling picked up in the second half of 2016 as the government took advantage of lower crude prices and filled up some newly built tanks,” Emma Li, senior analyst at Thomson Reuters Oil Research, said, commenting on the Chinese data.
The rate of the stockpiling, however, eased in the second half of 2017, following the rebound in oil prices, according to Li.
China’s irregular and opaque reporting of SPR data leaves analysts guesstimating how much oil storage capacity and oil in storage the country really has.
Last month, satellite imaging data suggested that China had started to build its crude oil inventories after two months of declines, Orbital Insight said. According to the company’s data, the first nine days of November saw an inventory increase of 37 million barrels, after a 120-million-barrel draw in September and October.
Earlier Orbital data suggests that over the three years from 2014, China has built its inventories by 22 million barrels on average over the last two months of the year