Nigeria’s top 10 agricultural export is estimated to have earned the country about N289.3 billion in one year (April 2019 – March 2020). This is according to data collected from various foreign trade reports, as compiled by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS).
A cursory look at the data showed that Sesamum seeds and Cocoa remain Nigeria’s biggest agricultural exports, with the two products jointly accounting for over 60% of the entire agricultural exports in the country.
Number Breakdown: Top ten Agricultural Exports in Nigeria
By operational definition, the NBS defined agricultural products as goods that come from the planting of crops and/or raring of animals. Here is the breakdown of Nigeria’s top agricultural exports and top destination countries.
- Sesamum seeds: Sesamum seeds, the tiny, oil-rich seeds, have been Nigeria’s agricultural export biggest earner for some years. During the period under review, Nigeria made the sum of N112.8 billion from the export of the products and this accounted for 38.9% of the top 10 agricultural products. Top destinations for the product include Japan, China, Turkey, India, and Vietnam.
- Cocoa Beans: Cocoa (Fermented, superior quality raw cocoa) exports is Nigeria’s second largest agricultural export. During the period under review, cocoa export was estimated to be N109.6 billion, accounting for 37.8% of the top agricultural exports. The top destinations for the product are Germany, Netherlands, Spain. Indonesia, Belgium, Malaysia, and Estonia.
- Cashew nuts (In shell and shelled): Cashew nuts are Nigeria’s 3rd biggest agricultural export product. In one year (March 2019 – March 2020), Nigeria generated a total sum of N38.2 billion from cashew nuts export. The top destinations are Vietnam, India, USA, Russia and the Netherlands.
- Frozen shrimps and prawns: Ranking 4th on the list, Frozen shrimps and prawns accounted for 3.4% of the biggest export in Nigeria, estimated to be N9.85 billion in the last one year. According to the breakdown, Netherlands, Belgium, France, Vietnam, and the USA are top destinations for the export of the products.
- Natural cocoa butter: Natural cocoa butter ranks as Nigeria’s 5th biggest agricultural export product within the period. Nigeria generated the sum of N7.69 billion as revenue proceed from the export of cocoa butter. Germany and Estonia are top destinations for the product
- Sesame oil and its fractions: Sesame oil, an edible vegetable oil derived from sesame seeds, ranks 6th on the list with an estimated export value of N3.1 billion
- Other agricultural products on the top 10 list include Cotton, Agro-food items, Other cut flowers & flower buds of kind suitable ornamental purposes and Ginger. During the period, a total sum of N2.53 billion was generated from Cotton export, Agro-food items (N1.97 billion), Cut flowers and flower buds (1.96 billion) and Ginger (N1.43 billion).
Upshots: Nigeria’s Agric. export may experience the biggest contraction in 2020
As at the end of Q1 2020, Nigeria’s total foreign trade was estimated at N8.3 trillion, an 18% decline when compared to N10.12 trillion recorded in Q4 2019. The decline in foreign trade showed the earliest sign of the impact of COVID-19 pandemic that led to disruption in cross border trade.
Despite the gradual easing of lockdown in major economies, restrictions imposed on cross border movements still subsist and this may demand for the goods and commodity prices in the short to medium term.
On the flip side, Nigeria’s cocoa-industry association recently cut its output estimate for the 2020 main crop by 18%, citing the spread of the fungal black pod disease caused by heavy rains in the country’s main growing areas.