That dollar amount reflects a 19.7% advance from $52.9 billion during 2018.
From 2021 to 2022, the total value of Nigerian exports gained 33.1% compared to $47.6 billion for 2021.
Based on the average exchange rate for 2022, the Nigerian naira dropped in value by -39.2% against the US dollar since 2018 and fell by -6.2% from 2021 to 2022. Nigeria’s weaker local currency makes its exports paid for in stronger US dollars relatively less expensive for international buyers.
Nigeria’s 3 biggest trading partners (India, Spain and the Netherlands) bought over a third (34.2%) of total Nigerian exported products in 2022 as measured in US dollars.
Applying a continental lens, 44% of Nigeria’s exports by value was delivered to European countries while 31.1% was sold to importers in Asia. Nigeria shipped 10.1% worth of goods to North America, and another 10% was bought by buyers in Africa.
Smaller percentages went to Latin America (4.7%) excluding Mexico but including the Caribbean, and Oceania (0.1%) Australia only.
Nigeria’s Top Trading Partners
Below is a list showcasing 25 of Nigeria’s top trading partners, countries that imported the most Nigerian shipments by dollar value during 2022. Also shown is each import country’s percentage consumption of total Nigerian exports.
- India: US$8 billion (12.6% of total Nigerian exports)
- Spain: $7.6 billion (12%)
- Netherlands: $6.1 billion (9.6%)
- Indonesia: $4.7 billion (7.4%)
- United States: $4.4 billion (7%)
- France: $3.7 billion (5.8%)
- Italy: $2.6 billion (4.2%)
- Ivory Coast: $2.1 billion (3.4%)
- Canada: $1.89 billion (3%)
- Portugal: $1.87 billion (3%)
- Brazil: $1.82 billion (2.9%)
- South Africa: $1.4 billion (2.2%)
- Sweden: $1.3 billion (2.1%)
- United Kingdom: $1.26 billion (2%)
- Türkiye: $1.17 billion (1.8%)
- Gibraltar: $1.15 billion (1.8%)
- Thailand: $895.8 million (1.4%)
- mainland China: $833 million (1.3%)
- Germany: $805.3 million (1.3%)
- Japan: $779.6 million (1.2%)
- Senegal: $733.8 million (1.2%)
- Togo: $704.8 million (1.1%)
- South Korea: $671.1 million (1.1%)
- Saudi Arabia: $660.4 million (1%)
- Japan: $387.2 million (0.6%)
A growing (90.8%) of Nigerian exports in 2022 was delivered to the above 25 trading partners.
The fastest growers among Nigeria’s top trading importers increasing their consumption of Nigerian commodities from 2021 to 2022 were Saudi Arabia (up 7,731%), Sweden (up 544.2%), Thailand (up 245.6%), Gibraltar (up 176.8%), Indonesia (up 151.3%), and the United States of America (up 118.3%).
Posting double-digit declines major Nigerian trade customers mainland China (down -55.2%), Canada (down -12.3%) and South Africa (down -10.4%).
Trade Partners Causing Biggest Trade Deficits for Nigeria
As defined by Investopedia, a country whose total value of all imported goods is higher than its value of all exports is said to have a negative trade balance or deficit.
It would be unrealistic for any exporting nation to expect across-the-board positive trade balances with all its importing partners. Similarly, that export country doesn’t necessarily post a negative trade balance with each individual partner with which it exchanges exports and imports.
In 2022, Nigeria incurred the highest trade deficits with the following countries.
- mainland China: US-$12.9 billion (country-specific trade deficit in 2022)
- Belgium: -$5.9 billion
- Norway: -$2 billion
- United Arab Emirates: -$1.6 billion
- South Korea: -$1.4 billion
- Latvia: -$1.1 billion
- Malaysia: -$684.9 million
- Russia: -$601.2 million
- Oman: -$592.6 million
- Singapore: -$452.7 million
Among Nigeria’s trading partners that cause the greatest negative trade balances, Nigerian deficits with Oman (up 783%), Latvia (up 273%) and the United Arab Emirates (up 118.6%) grew at the fastest pace from 2021 to 2022.
In addition, Nigeria transitioned from recording a $561.3 million surplus trading with Singapore to incurring the above trade deficit listed above for Singapore.
These cashflow deficiencies clearly indicate Nigeria’s competitive disadvantages with the above countries, but also represent key opportunities for Nigeria to develop country-specific strategies to strengthen its overall position in international trade.
Trade Partners Generating Greatest Trade Surpluses for Nigeria
Overall, Nigeria earned a US$2.9 billion trade surplus for 2022, reversing a -$4.9 billion deficit in 2021.
Based on Investopedia’s definition of net importer, a country whose total value of all imported goods is lower than its value of all exports is said to have a positive trade balance or surplus.
In 2022, Nigeria incurred the highest trade surpluses with the following countries.
- Spain: US$7 billion (country-specific trade surplus in 2022)
- Indonesia: $4.3 billion
- India: $3.2 billion
- Ivory Coast: $2 billion
- Portugal: $1.8 billion
- Italy: $1.8 billion
- France: $1.7 billion
- Canada: $1.5 billion
- Gibraltar: $1.2 billion
- Sweden: $1.1 billion
Among Nigeria’s trading partners that generate the greatest positive trade balances, Nigerian surpluses with Sweden (up 1,434%), Indonesia (up 188.4%) and Gibraltar (up 177%) grew at the fastest pace from 2021 to 2022.
These positive cashflow streams clearly indicate Nigeria’s competitive advantages with the above countries, but also represent key opportunities for Nigeria to develop country-specific strategies to optimize its overall position in international trade.
Nigeria’s Major Export Companies
Five Nigerian corporations rank among Forbes Global 2000 including three regional banks, an insurance conglomerate and a construction materials firm.
- Dangote Cement (construction materials)
- Equity Assurance (financial institution)
- FBN Holdings (regional bank)
- Guaranty Trust Bank (regional bank)
- Zenith Bank (regional bank)
Wikipedia also lists exporters from Nigeria. Selected examples are shown below.
- Julius Berger Nigeria (construction materials)
- Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (oil, gas)
- Oando (oil, gas)
- ROCAD Construction Limited (oil, gas)
- Shell Nigeria (oil, gas)
See also Nigeria’s Top 10 Imports, Nigeria’s Top 10 Exports and Top African Export Countries
Central Intelligence Agency, The World Factbook Africa: Nigeria. Accessed on May 23, 2023
Forbes Global 2000 rankings, The World’s Biggest Public Companies. Accessed on May 23, 2023
International Trade Centre, Trade Map. Accessed on May 23, 2023
Investopedia, Net Exports Definition. Accessed on May 23, 2023
Wikipedia, Romania. Accessed on May 23, 2023
Wikipedia, List of Companies of Romania. Accessed on May 23, 2023