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.