Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

3T Impex Services: Contract Sourcing Service

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Nigeria and America’s Trade Policy with Africa

Nigeria and America’s trade policy with Africa
Eleven years ago, the government of the United States of America signed the African Growth and Opportunities Act (AGOA) to help the continent export some goods to the U.S. under certain concessions. Six years later, a report showed Nigeria fared badly in taking advantage of the U.S. initiative. A few days ago, a U.S. official spoke of an expanded initiative the Obama administration is working out with governments in Africa, of which Nigeria may benefit if it gets its acts right.

U.S. Deputy Trade Representative, Ambassador Demetrius Marantis, said in a statement a few days ago that the U.S. is pursuing a unique trade policy about new ways to resolve old trade barriers, create customs practices and facilitate job-supporting trade in which Americans and Africans could benefit. Specifically, he said the U.S. is engaging the Nigerian government on “protecting intellectual property rights in Nigeria”.

He said his government has set up Trade Investment Framework Agreement with 12 African countries and regional economic communities. Already, the U.S. is facilitating training on enforcement of intellectual property rights with Nigerian agencies. On trademark policies, the U.S. Justice Department is involved with the Nigeria Customs Service, Standard Organisation of Nigeria as well as Nigerian judges, especially on resolving commercial disputes through Nigeria’s tardy judicial process. Generally, any policy that helps to create jobs and trade opportunities is welcome.

But will the Nigerian government and the people properly analyze potential pitfalls and benefits and thereafter take advantage of benefits through formulating sound policies? After all, nobody or country designs a policy that will not first and mainly take care of their selfish interests, no matter the policy’s beauty. Before signing some agreements, are we sure we have something to offer in exchange of transaction in order to get the potential benefit? What is the attitude of the Nigerian government to preserving intellectual and property rights, and is it ready to make amends where possible in order not to make the benefits of any agreement one-sided, usually in favour of the U.S?
These posers are germane going by the record poor performance of Nigeria under the AGOA initiative. Under AGOA, sub-Saharan African countries were to be given some concessions to export 6,500 processed products, including textiles, to the US duty-free and quota free, to some extent. AGOA aims at reducing trade barriers and increasing exports from economically disadvantaged, poor countries and so position them to participate in a highly competitive global market. AGOA goals therefore are to ginger the governments of poor countries to provide the enabling environment to create jobs, improve living standards, reduce poverty and encourage foreign investors to consider investing in Africa. However, the U.S. still has power to limit importation of these AGOA goods from any country in order to protect its own producers and industry.

Till date, however, the US market yearns for Nigerian finished clothes, but the textile industry in the country has gone under. What with the crippling weight of scarce and expensive energy, epileptic power supplies, decrepit transportation and insufficient water infrastructure. The failure of government to reverse these disincentives to investments and profitability has over the years weakened the capacity of Nigerian textile and other firms to compete well in the fierce global market with far better infrastructure.

Dilapidated domestic infrastructure has made it virtually impossible for Nigerian firms to profit from the competitive advantage of having abundant agricultural raw materials to support and sustain a thriving, value-added agro industry that could profit from AGOA policy. For instance, South Africa’s benefits from AGOA six years ago came from export of passenger cars and citrus fruits.

Nigeria is yet to encourage an agro industry to exploit its abundant but wasting pineapple, orange, tomato, banana, mango in different parts of the country. While a fruit canning industry would support export of natural fruit juices, Nigeria spends outlandish sums on importing chemical fruit juices.

Fifty years after, crude oil export still remains crude, unrefined. Little or no value is added and so Nigeria gets peanuts for its huge exports. Yet, processing crude into finished products would give the country far greater revenue yield. Regrettably, Nigeria, a major global oil exporter, supplying about 15 percent of U.S. oil needs, still imports virtually all of its requirements for petroleum products, leaving all its refineries in decay and abandonment. All these inadequacies need to be urgently remedied before the country could benefit from any trade policy of this kind. We must be sure we have tangible commodities or products to exchange or Nigeria becomes a dumping ground for foreign goods, usually worthless. Our house must be put in order to attract foreign investors and for domestic investors to foray into foreign markets in a competitive global trade.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Product Profile: Coal

Description: Coal is a combustible black or brownish-black sedimentary rock normally occurring in rock strata in layers or veins called coal beds or coal seams. The harder forms, such as anthracite coal, can be regarded as metamorphic rock because of later exposure to elevated temperature and pressure. Coal is composed primarily of carbon along with variable quantities of other elements, chiefly hydrogen, with smaller quantities of sulfur, oxygen and nitrogen

Occurrence: Coal begins as layers of plant matter accumulating at the bottom of a body of water. For the process to continue, the plant matter must be protected from biodegradation and oxidization, usually by mud or acidic water. This traps their carbon in immense peat bogs that are eventually covered over and deeply buried by sediments. Under this compression the plant material is metamorphosed into coal: over time, the chemical and physical properties of the plant remains are changed by geological action to create a solid material.

The wide shallow seas of the Carboniferous period provided ideal conditions for coal formation, although coal is known from most geological periods. The exception is the coal gap in the Lower Triassic, where coal is rare: presumably a result of the mass extinction which prefaced this era. Coal is even known from Precambrian strata, which predate land plants: this coal is presumed to have originated from algal residues.

Coal, a fossil fuel, is the largest source of energy for the generation of electricity worldwide, as well as one of the largest worldwide anthropogenic sources of carbon dioxide releases. Gross carbon dioxide emissions from coal usage are slightly more than those from petroleum and about double the amount from natural gas. Coal is extracted from the ground by mining, either underground by shaft mining through the seams or in open pits.

Locations: Coal exploration in Nigeria started as far back as 1916. Available data show that Coal (mainly sub-bituminous steam Coals except for the Lafia-Obi bituminous Coking Coal) occurrences in Nigeria have been indicated in more than 22 Coalfields spread over 13 States of the Federation.

The proven Coal reserves so far in Nigeria total about 639 million metric tones whilethe inferred reserves sum up to 2.75 billion metric tones. Presently, the Nigeria Coal Industry has 4 existing mines, Okpara and Onyeama Underground Mines in Enugu state, Aba surface mine in Kogi State and Owukpa Underground Mine in Benue State In addition, there are more than 13 undeveloped Coal fields.

The undeveloped Coal fields in Nigeria are of two categories, viz: the Virgin Coal fields where further detailed exploration work and/or access roadways are required and the developing Coalfields where reserves have been proven and Mine access road ways developed. The developing coal fields in Nigeria are stated in the table below.
Azagba Lignite field
Ogboyoga Coal field
Ezimo Coal field
Lafia-Obi Coal field
lnyi Coal field
Lamla area
Okpara Mine

Specifications: The coal specification varies depending on the requirement of the buyer and this could vary base ranges stated in table below.
Fixed Carbon
Volatile Matter
Ash Content

Uses: Coal has many important uses worldwide. The most significant uses are in electricity generation, steel production, cement manufacturing and as a liquid fuel. Around 6.1 billion tonnes of hard coal were used worldwide in 2010 and 1 billion tonnes of brown coal. Since 2000, global coal consumption has grown faster than any other fuel.

Different types of coal have different uses. Steam coal - also known as thermal coal - is mainly used in power generation. Coking coal - also known as metallurgical coal - is mainly used in steel production.

The biggest market for coal is Asia, which currently accounts for over 65% of global coal consumption; although China is responsible for a significant proportion of this. Many countries do not have natural energy resources sufficient to cover their energy needs, and therefore need to import energy to help meet their requirements.

Other important users of coal include alumina refineries, paper manufacturers, and the chemical and pharmaceutical industries. Several chemical products can be produced from the by-products of coal. Refined coal tar is used in the manufacture of chemicals, such as creosote oil, naphthalene, phenol, and benzene. Ammonia gas recovered from coke ovens is used to manufacture ammonia salts, nitric acid and agricultural fertilizers. Thousands of different products have coal or coal by-products as components: soap, aspirins, solvents, dyes, plastics and fibers, such as rayon and nylon. Coal is also an essential ingredient in the production of specialist products:
·         Activated carbon - used in filters for water and air purification and in kidney dialysis machines.
·         Carbon fiber - an extremely strong but light weight reinforcement material used in construction, mountain bikes and tennis rackets.
·         Silicon metal - used to produce silicones and silanes, which are in turn used to make lubricants, water repellents, resins, cosmetics, hair shampoos and toothpastes.

Export market: The five largest coal users - China, USA, India, Russia and Japan - account for 77% of total global coal use. Japan, Chinese Taipei and Korea, for example, import significant quantities of steam coal for electricity generation and coking coal for steel production

Export Price: Depending on the carbon content of the Coal the FOB price could vary from USD100-250/MT.

Local price: The local market price of Coal at the loading point could vary from NGN5,000-NGN7,000/MT or more.

Monday, December 12, 2011


We are working with a cooperative society that presence in the south-west and south-south region of Nigeria. They have the capacity to deliver more than 2000MT of good quality Raw Cashew Nuts this new season starting from late January 2012. 
FOB Price: USD600-800/MT 
Delivery Duration: 300-500MT/Month 
Delivery Destination: Lagos Port or Warehouse  
a. Moisture            8 %Max
b. Nut Count         170-190 per kg 
c. Outturn (Kor)    45-50lbs per 80kg  
d. Foreign matter   0.25Max 
e. Defective nuts    10%Max 
Target Buyers: End users of Raw Cashew nuts in India, Vietnam and Singapore.  

Friday, December 9, 2011


Items can either be exported in BIT or in BULK. The table below therefore compares the exportable items in bits and in bulk using the mode of transport, the means of conveyance, the quantity range, the packaging involved, the capital outlay and finally the examples of items being exported in bits and in bulk.

Product Profile: Raw Cashew Nuts

Description: Cashew (Anacardium Occidentale L.) is a tree crop of considerable economic importance to Nigeria and other tropical countries. Apart from being a source of useful products and byproducts for food, medicinal and industrial applications, cashew gives also a useful shade, while ornamental and alley trees are suitable for the control of soil erosion, particularly for the protection of watersheds and dams.

Harvest: Cashew nut setting begins in the middle of dry season, while harvesting takes place mainly in February or March. The entire harvest period occupies about 16 weeks. In the Eastern and Western parts of the country, where quality cashew nuts are grown, nuts are allowed to drop to the ground before they are collected. This practice ensures that only ripe nuts are collected. Nuts normally fall to the ground with their apples attached; the two are normally separated with a twisting action during collection. The remnants of the apple flash adhering to the nuts are removed with a sharp knife. After picking, the nuts are dried in the sun for 2 to 3 days, to reduce their moisture content to about 12 %. Properly dried nuts are packed in jute bags and can be kept for 6 to 10 months, if stored in suitable condition.

Locations: Major cashew growing areas in Nigeria are, by order of importance: Enugu, Abia, Imo, Anambra, Ebonyi and Cross River States in the eastern part of the country; Oyo, Osun, Ondo, Ekiti and Ogun States in the Western part, as well as Kwara, Kogi, Nassarawa, Benue, Taraba, Niger and FCT in the Middle Belt and also Sokoto and Kebbi States in the North West part of the country. The majority of export quality nuts come from the Western and Eastern parts of the country.

Specification: For most buyers especially in asia, the raw cashew nut specifications that they are willing to buy are as follows:
i. Nut count 180-200 per kg
ii. Moisture content 8-10% max
iii. Defective nuts 15% max
iv. Float Rate 18% max
v. Admixture 0.25% max
vi. Foreign matter 0.25% max
vii. KoR, or shelling out-turn 45-50 Ibs/bag

Uses: The cashew nut is a popular snack, and its rich flavor means that it is often eaten on its own, lightly salted or sugared. In addition to this, cashew nutshell liquid (CNSL), a by-product of processing cashew, is mostly composed of anacardic acids. These acids have been used effectively against tooth abscesses due to their lethality to bacteria.

Export market: The major buyers of cashew nut from Nigeria are mainly India and Singapore. Smaller percentage goes to Europe.

Export price: The export free on board (fob) price of raw cashew nut varies from about USD 500-700/MT. However, when an exporter adds value to this product by processing it into kernels, the fob price could quadruple that of raw cashew nut.

Local price: The local price per metric tonne MT for raw cashew nuts delivered EXW Lagos (delivered in Lagos) varies from NGN50,000.00 during the peak season to about NGN100,000.00 at the off season.

Friday, December 2, 2011