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By NBF News
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Marked decline in the value of exports in the first quarter of 2012 has resulted in a 42.2 per cent drop in the country's balance of trade (BoT).

Current data from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) indicated that total balance of trade in the first quarter stood at N3,317.5 billion, a decrease of N2,417.7 billion from the N5,735 billion recorded in the fourth quarter of 2011.

According to the NBS, the observed drop in quarterly value of trade was due to decline in the value of exports by N2,162.5 billion or 30.3 per cent over that of the previous quarter.

However, a year-on-year analysis revealed that the country's value of total trade in first quarter rose marginally by N296.7 billion or 4.7 per cent over the value of N6, 325.3 billion in first quarter of 2011.

This decrease was attributed to the decline in the value of exports (non-crude oil exports in particular) in the quarter under review.

Total exports for the period stood at N4,969.7 billion, indicating a decline of N2,162.5 billion or 30.3 per cent over the value in the previous quarter. This was partly due to the decrease in the value of non-crude oil which dropped by N2,368.6 billion or 65.4 per cent over previous the period.

Year-on-year comparison revealed an increase of N1,752.0 billion or 54.4 per cent in the value exports driven by both crude and non-crude oil exports.

The value of non-crude oil exports increased by N458.7 billion or 57.7 per cent relative to the corresponding period of the previous year, while the value of crude oil exports increased by N1,293.3 billion or 53.4 per cent.