Exports increased from January to February by 9.04 billion ZAR (17.0 percent) and imports decreased from January to February by 5.97 billion ZAR (-7.7 percent). The reduction in the trade deficit from R24.5 billion in January 2013 was due to an increase in exports of mineral products, chemical products, precious metals and machinery and electrical appliances. Imports decreased in the following sections: prepared foodstuffs, chemical products, plastics and rubber, machinery and electronics and vehicles, aircraft and vessels.
The January to February change (up by 17.0 percent) in exports of goods reflected increases mainly in mineral products (increased by 3 percent); products of the chemicals or allied industries (increased by 15 percent); Precious and semi-precious stones and metals (grew 26 percent); Machinery and electrical appliances (grew 25 percent) and Vehicles, aircraft and vessels (increased by 80 percent).
The January to February change (down by 7.7 percent) in imports of goods reflected decreases mainly in prepared foodstuffs, beverages and tobacco (decreased by 20 percent); products of the chemicals or allied industries (declined 16 percent); plastics and rubber and articles thereof (declined 21 percent); machinery and electrical appliances (decreased 15 percent) and vehicles, aircraft and vessels (decreased 12 percent).
Trade deficits with Asia, Europe and America decreased, as exports climbed and imports fell. Trade deficit with Oceania also declined, but both exports and imports increased. The trade surplus with Africa increased, with both exports and imports climbing.
The cumulative deficit for 2013 is 34.11 billion ZAR compared to 23.71 billion ZAR in 2012.