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Nigeria’s duty-free export to US shrinks to $351.73m

Adewale Nurudeen

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Nigeria’s duty-free export to US shrinks to $351.73m

Nigeria’s export to the United States under a duty-free policy declined in the first nine months of 2020, recording $351.73m from January to September.

According to the latest African Growth and Opportunity Act policy trade statistics, exports to the US under the policy fell by 86.97 percent from $2,699.13m in the first nine months of 2019 to $351.73m in the corresponding period in 2020.

The AGOA, a United States’ trade policy, enacted in 2000, is a legislation that facilitates duty-free trade between exporters from sub-Saharan Africa and the United States.

Annual trade data showed the largest contribution towards AGOA-eligible trade commodities was usually oil exports mainly from Angola and Nigeria, and to a lesser extent, Chad and the Republic of Congo.

For instance, oil export under the policy accounted for 99.7 percent of Nigeria’s AGOA exports to the United States in 2019.

According to the statistics, oil and gas products valued at $3.12bn were exported to the US under the policy in 2019.

However, South Africa, Kenya, Ethiopia, Lesotho, Ghana, and Madagascar are among the leading non-oil AGOA exporters.

The data showed that Kenya, Ethiopia, and Madagascar dominated the apparel sector.

Following the coronavirus-induced crash in oil prices earlier this year and declining demand, Nigeria has been struggling to sell its crude oil cargoes.

Prior to the lockdowns and collapse in crude oil demand caused by the coronavirus crisis, the production of US shale oil had led to a significant reduction in the exportation of Nigerian crude oil.

The United States’ import of Nigeria crude oil plunged by 63.03 percent in the first quarter of this year, compared to the last quarter of 2019.

Data from the US Energy Information Administration showed that the country imported 5.53 million barrels of crude oil from Nigeria in Q1 2020, down from 15.07 million barrels in Q4 2019.

The Nigerian America Chamber of Commerce recently said it was planning to establish parks in states for businesses to benefit from the duty-free AGOA of the US government.