South Africa Reports the Biggest Trade Deficit on Record

The increased trade deficit of 24.53 billion ZAR in January 2013 from 2.70 billion ZAR in December 2012 was due to increased imports of machinery and electrical appliances, mineral products, base metals, chemical products, plastics and rubber, textile and textile articles, and original equipment components. Exports decreased in precious & semi-precious metals, machinery and electronics, vehicles, vessels and aircraft.

The value of total exports decreased 10.9 percent to 53 billion ZAR from 59.8 billion ZAR recorded in the previous month. Vehicles, aircraft and vessels exports declined 39 percent. Machinery and electrical appliances exports decreased 28 percent from January of 2013 to December of 2012, and precious and semi-precious stones and metals exports fell by 19 percentage points. 

The value of total imports increased 24.5 percent to 77.8 billion ZAR from 62.4 billion ZAR recorded in December of 2012. Imports of original equipment components registered the highest increase (84 percent), followed by base metals and articles (63 percent), textile and textile articles (53 percent), plastics and rubber and articles (53 percent).
On a year-over-year basis, exports increased only 0.2 percent, while imports registered an increase of 13.1 percentage points, mainly due to slower global growth and several mining strikes held since August 2012.

Joana Taborda |
2/28/2013 1:33:20 PM