The United States decreased its oil import from Nigeria by 67 per cent in 2014, signaling growing economic pain and sustained
pressure on foreign reserves, already down to $29.3 billion as at April 15, 2015, its lowest point since 2010.

Figures from the US Department of Commerce suggest that U.S. total trade in 2014 (exports plus imports) with sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) also went down by 18 per cent to $52.1 billion compared to 2013.

“In 2014, U.S. imports from SSA decreased by 32 percent, falling to $26.7 billion and representing only 1.1 percent of total U.S. imports from the world. This decrease was mostly due to a 51 percent decrease in U.S. mineral fuel and oil imports from SSA. U.S. imports from SSA originated, for the most part, from South Africa Nigeria, Angola, Côte d’Ivoire, and Chad,” the report says.

In the same period, U.S. exports to the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) reached $8.7 billion, a decrease of three percent while exports to the West African Economic and Monetary Union (WAEMU) topped $2.4 billion, an increase of nine per
cent.

“While U.S. exports to the world grew by 2.8 percent, exports to SSA (mostly composed of machinery and aircraft) increased by six percent, reaching $25.4 billion and accounting for only 1.6 percent of total U.S. exports to the world. The top five African destinations for U.S. products were South Africa, Nigeria, Angola, Ethiopia, and Kenya.”

According to the report, “in 2014, imports from Southern African Development Community (SADC) were $16.2 billion, a decrease of 15 percent from 2013;imports from Southern African Customs Union (SACU) were $9.3 billion, a slight decrease of 1 percent; imports from ECOWAS were $5.3 billion, a sharp decrease of 59 percent from 2013; imports from West African Economic and Monetary Union (WAEMU) were $1.3 billion, an increase of 19 percent; and imports from East African Community (EAC) were $743 million, an increase of 24 percent from 2013.”

Meanwhile, the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) also reported 47 per cent drop in imports to $14.2 billion, compared to 2013, mainly due to 55 percent decrease in petroleum product imports which continued to account for the largest portion of AGOA imports with a 69 percent share of overall AGOA imports.

“However, imports of minerals and metals increased by 17 percent, imports of agricultural products increased by five per cent, and imports of textiles and apparel increased by nine percent.”

The top five AGOA beneficiary countries were Angola, Nigeria, South Africa, Chad, and Gabon, followed by Kenya, Lesotho, and Republic of Congo.