External reserves drop by $50.84m in 10 days

The country’s external reserves dropped by $50.84m from $35.75bn as of October 2 to $35.69bn as of October 12, figures from the Central Bank of Nigeria have revealed.

The CBN disclosed that the reserves, which had continued to rise and fall in recent weeks, stood at $35.67bn as of September 1 and rose to $35.81bn as of September 17.

The reserves rose by $65m from $35.59bn as of August 20 to $35.66bn as of August 27.

It had earlier lost $278.91m from $35.87bn on July 29 to $35.59bn on August 19 after which it returned to a growth path.

The CBN stated in its monthly economic report for May that, “Nigeria’s international reserves decreased marginally from $36.43bn at end-April to $36.19bn at end-May 2020.

“The net decrease in reserves was due to the sales of foreign exchange at the Secondary Market Intervention Sales and Investor and Exporter windows as well as payments to external creditors.

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“Thus, the level of import cover for goods and services, decreased from 4.0 months in April to 3.9 months in May 2020, but remained above the IMF threshold of 3.0 months.

“A comparative analysis of reserves per capita in May 2020 showed that Nigeria’s reserves per capita was $176.58, compared to $889.73 for South Africa, $491.10 for Angola, $218.94 for Egypt and $24.10 for Ghana.

The CBN had stated in its report on ‘Monetary, credit, foreign trade and exchange policy guidelines for fiscal years 2020/2021’ that external reserves were expected to lie between $29.9bn and $34.3bn by 2020 ending.

It said, “Sequel to the COVID-19 pandemic, the viability of the external sector in 2020 is expected to deteriorate, given the present worsening current account balance and depletion of external reserves driven, largely, by decelerating export receipts, particularly oil.

“Specifically, the degree of external reserves accumulation is expected to decelerate, as outflows are expected to outweigh inflows.

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“As a result, external reserves are expected to lie between $29.9bn and $34.3bn at end-December 2020 (predicated on current declining oil price between $20 and $40).”

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