Exports decreased from November to December by 10.3 percent to ZAR 77.59 billion. Sales of precious metals and stones dropped 24 percent; vehicles and transport equipment went down by 20.8 percent and those of base metals shrank by 11.2 percent.
Imports fell 12.8 percent over the previous month to ZAR 74.81 billion, mainly due lower imports of textiles (-27 percent), plastics and rubber (-27.5 percent), base metals (-20.5 percent) and plastics and rubber (-27.5 percent).
Trade deficit with Asia, Europe and Africa decreased, while that with America and Oceania widened.
When stripping out trade with the regional neighbor countries, the trade balance recorded a ZAR 4.31 billion deficit in December, lower than the ZAR 9.24 billion deficit in the previous month.
The cumulative surplus for 2013 is ZAR 87.41 billion compared to ZAR 82.27 billion in 2012.