Imports declined 16.5 percent month-over-month to ZAR 90.2 billion in February of 2018, mainly due to lower purchases of machinery and electronics (-25 percent); mineral products (-16 percent); vehicles and transport equipment (-17 percent); chemical products (-12 percent); base metals (-24 percent) and original equipment components (-13 percent). The most important import partners were: China (18.6 percent of total imports), Germany (10.8 percent), the US (5.5 percent), Saudi Arabia (5.3 percent) and Nigeria (4.9 percent).
Exports rose 12.0 percent month-over-month to ZAR 90.6 billion, mostly due to higher sales of vehicles and transport equipment (117 percent); precious metals and stones (14 percent); machinery and electronics (25 percent) and prepared foodstuff (18 percent). Main export partners were: China (9.3 percent of total exports); Germany (7.7 percent); the US (6.4 percent); Japan (4.8 percent) and Botswana (4.6 percent).
Excluding trade with neighboring Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia and Swaziland, the country posted a trade deficit of ZAR 6.6 billion in February.