South Africa Trade Surplus Beats Expectations


South Africa trade balance shifted to ZAR 9.47 billion surplus in March of 2018, from an upwardly revised ZAR 0.60 billion deficit in the previous month, and well above market expectations of a ZAR 3.7 billion surplus. It was the smallest trade surplus since October last year. Considering the first quarter of the year, the country recorded a trade deficit of ZAR 18.6 billion.

Exports increased 9.2 percent month-over-month to ZAR 98.3 billion in March of 2018, mostly due to higher sales of base mineral (+12 percent); precious metals and stones (15 percent); base metals (19 percent) and machinery and electronics (10 percent). The most important export partners were: China (10.2 percent of total exports), the US (7.1 percent), Germany (7.0 percent), Japan (4.7 percent) and India (4.7 percent).

Imports dropped 2.0 percent month-over-month to ZAR 88.8 billion, mainly due to a fall in purchases of vegetable products (-31 percent) and mineral (-14 percent). In contrast, purchases increased for base metals (13 percent) and machinery and electronics (6 percent). Main import partners were: China (18.1 percent of total imports), Germany (10.1 percent), the US (6.3 percent), Saudi Arabia (4.9 percent) and Thailand (3.8 percent).

Excluding trade with neighboring Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia and Swaziland, the country posted a trade surplus of ZAR 1.9 billion in March.

South Africa Trade Surplus Beats Expectations


South African Revenue Service | Stefanie Moya | stefanie.moya@tradingeconomics.com
4/30/2018 12:56:49 PM