In what might be perceived as a welcomed development, China has said that it would need more crude oil from Nigeria. NAN reports that Zao LingXiang who is the economic and commercial counsellor of the Chinese embassy in Nigeria made this declaration in Abuja.
In 2015, the total amount of crude oil export to China was only about one million barrels which was just 1.3 per cent of Nigerian annual export. He said: “In my opinion, it really doesn’t matter whether Iran comes back or not; Chinese companies want to import more crude oil from Nigeria.” He explained that current trade volume between Nigeria and China was $14.94 billion in 2014, making Nigeria third largest trade partner of China in Africa. The economic counsellor added that Nigeria’s trade figure was 8.3 per cent of China’s total trade volume with Africa and 42 per cent of the total trade volume between China and Africa.
“China is the largest developing country in the world and Nigeria is the largest developing country in Africa and both countries have complementary advantages in natural and human resources, funds and markets."
“Right now, the Nigerian government is trying to diversify its economy which is fully in line with the 10 China-Africa cooperation plans announced at the summit on China-Africa trade in Johannesburg in 2015. “There are great potential for cooperation between China and Nigeria in the fields of industrialisation, agricultural modernisation, infrastructure construction, financial services, trade and investment facilitation, among others.”
LinXiang said that in the area of infrastructure, the two countries had made significant development. He said that President Muhammadu Buhari is expected to visit China in April and that this visit would facilitate the implementation of agreements reached at the 2015 China-African summit which took place in South Africa. The economic counselor explained that the total investment volume between China and Africa exceeded $100 billion in 2015 in spite of the decline in imports from Africa.
“The amount in import from Africa to China declined but did not decline remarkably."
“Moreover, the economic and trade cooperation between China and Africa is not only about trade but technical cooperation as well."
“China’s total investment volume in Africa last year increased by 100 times more in a short span of 10 years, which shows that cooperation between both parties is moving to a new level,” he said.
Oil prices rose close to $40 per barrel on March 7. The reduction in the output of US production increased the North American WTI crude benchmark. Brent crude which is the benchmark in the pricing of Nigerian oil increased by nearly 0.76 percent and reached some of the highest levels since early January and standing at $39.48 per barrel.