08 Jun

Daily Watch – Nigeria’s exports overtake imports, Lekki Port construction starts next month

  • Royal Dutch Shell lifted force majeure on Forcados crude oil for the first time since it went in place in February 2016, putting light sweet crude differentials under serious downward pressure. In lifting the force majeure, the company increased the planned loadings in June to 252,000 bpd. The first cargo that loaded for Shell late last month aboard the Astro Perseus was en route to Argentina, according to ship tracking data and traders. The second, which loaded for Vitol, was expected to go to the SIR refinery in Ivory Coast. While Forcados offers were emerging, but prices were only available on request.
  • Data from the NBS shows that Nigeria’s trade value in export is now more than the value of its import as agricultural exports increase by 82 percent in Q1. The export earnings from agricultural goods was ₦30 billion, driven by Sesamum seeds, whose export value was put above ₦5 billion. Nigeria’s trade volume hit ₦5.29 trillion, as imports decreased to ₦2.286 trillion and exports increased to ₦3.0059 trillion. Crude oil accounted for the largest share of total trade with 44.91 percent, followed by other oil products (23.37%), manufactured products (21.93%), raw materials (5.12%) and agricultural products (4.35%).
  • The size of the FG’s loans has reflected on the debt servicing expenses as it spent ₦474.06 billion to service domestic debts in the first quarter of this year. Figures from the DMO show that Nigeria spent $127.92 million to service foreign debts in Q1. The country’s total debt stood at ₦19.16 trillion as of March 31, 2017.
  • Lafarge Africa says it is accelerating its effort to adopt biomass as an alternative source of energy generation in order to boost efficiency. Biomass, as an energy source, can either be used directly via combustion to produce heat, or indirectly after converting it to various forms of biofuel. Legal Director, Lafarge Africa, Edith Onwuchekwa, said that the company had commenced the process of sourcing for biomass such as agricultural waste products, among others, adding that the company was looking at the next three to five years to concretise the move. “We have issues with energy as most times we experience gas shortage due to problems in the Niger Delta. That is why we are looking at other ways to tackle energy problem. We are looking at the biomass alternative fuel that will boost our energy and help us become efficient in that area and also reduce cost,” she said. “We are looking for alternatives that are not fossil fuel. We have started the process of sourcing for biomass by bringing in agric waste. This is where we are going in the next three to five years.” Onwuchekwa assured investors that the company’s Mfamosing plant in Calabra was producing at five million metric tons of cement capacity, following the completion of the new second line in 2016.
  • The Managing Director, Lekki Free Zone Development Company, Ding Yonghuaa, has announced that construction work on the port will begin next month. The July date is three months behind the scheduled time set by the Lagos State Governor, Akinwunmi Ambode, who had said the construction of the seaport would commence in April. The announcement by Yonghuaa also sought to address concerns about the take-off of the project, adding that work on the port would take a year to complete.