South Africa Trade Deficit Hits Record High


South Africa trade balance shifted to ZAR 27.7 billion deficit in January of 2018, compared to a downwardly revised ZAR 15.31 billion surplus in the previous month, and well below market expectations of a ZAR 5.0 billion deficit. It was the highest trade deficit on record.

Exports declined 22.6 percent month-over-month to ZAR 80.5 billion in January of 2018, mainly due to decreases in precious metals and stones (-34 percent); mineral products (-21 percent); vehicles and transport equipment (-47 percent); machinery and electronics (-21 percent) and prepared foodstuff (-27 percent). The most important export partners were: China (9.5 percent of total exports); the US (7.0 percent); Germany (5.9 percent); India (5.3 percent) and Japan (5.0 percent). 

Imports increased 18.3 percent month-over-month to ZAR 108.2 billion, namely original equipment components (139 percent); precious metals and stones (137 percent); mineral products (21 percent); machinery and electronics (10 percent); base metals (56 percent); chemical products (15 percent); plastics and rubber (32 percent) and textiles (39 percent). Main import partners were: China (20.4 percent of total imports); Germany (9.5 percent); Saudi Arabia (6.8 percent); the US (5.0 percent) and India (4.2 percent). 

Excluding trade with neighboring Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia and Swaziland, the country posted a trade deficit of ZAR 33.8 billion in January swinging from a ZAR 7.5 billion deficit in December.

South Africa Trade Deficit Hits Record High


South African Revenue Service | Stefanie Moya | stefanie.moya@tradingeconomics.com
2/28/2018 12:34:38 PM