South Africa Trade Surplus Widens in December


South Africa trade surplus increased to ZAR 15.72 billion in December of 2017 from an upwardly revised ZAR 13.05 billion in the previous month, and above market expectations of a ZAR 10.05 billion surplus. It is the highest trade surplus since May of 2016.

Exports decreased 10.2 percent month-over-month to ZAR 104.3 billion in December of 2017, namely vehicles and transport equipment (-23 percent); machinery and electronics (-21 percent); base metals (-14 percent) and mineral products (-12 percent). In contrast, sales of vegetables jumped 31 percent. Main export partners were: China (11.6 percent of total exports); the US (7.1 percent); Germany (6.0 percent); India (5.4 percent) and the UK (4.3 percent). 

Imports declined 14.1 percent month-over-month to ZAR 88.6 billion, mainly original equipment components (-58% of total imports); base metals (-30 percent); chemicals (-18 percent) and machinery and electronics (-15 percent). On the other hand, purchases of mineral products went up 23 percent. The most important import partners were: China (18.9 percent of total imports); Germany (7.9 percent); the US (6.4 percent); Oman (5.5 percent) and India (5.0 percent). 

Considering the January to December period, exports went up 7.9 percent and imports rose a meager 0.7 percent, widening the country's trade surplus to ZAR 80.55 billion surplus from a ZAR 1.05 billion in 2016.

South Africa Trade Surplus Widens in December


South African Revenue Service | Joana Taborda | joana.taborda@tradingeconomics.com
1/31/2018 2:27:30 PM