South Africa Trade Surplus Narrows In April


South Africa posted a trade surplus of ZAR 5.1 billion in April of 2017 compared to a downwardly revised ZAR 11.3 billion surplus in March and slightly below market expectations of ZAR 5.5 billion. Exports fell 9.2 percent to ZAR 91.8 billion, due to lower sales of precious metals and stones, vehicles & transport equipment, machinery & electronics and chemicals. Imports went down 3.4 percent to ZAR 86.7 billion, driven by purchases of optical photographic products, original equipment components, vegetables, and chemicals.

Exports fell to ZAR 91.8 billion, mainly driven by lower sales of vehicles & transport equipment (-18 percent), machinery & electronics (-18 percent), precious metals and stones (-8 percent), chemicals (-9 percent). In contrast, sales of mineral products went up 10 percent. Major destinations for exports were China (9.4 percent of total exports), Germany (7.7 percent), the US (6.9 percent), India (5 percent) and Japan (4.5 percent).

Imports decreased to 86.7 billion, as purchases went down for: optical photographic products (-26 percent); original equipment components (17 percent); vegetables (-22 percent) and chemicals (-4 percent). In contrast, imports of vehicles & transport equipment rose 4 percent. Imports came mainly from China (17.3 percent of total imports), Germany (10.5 percent), the US (6.3 percent), Saudi Arabia (5.9 percent) and  India (5 percent).

Excluding trade with neighboring Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia and Swaziland, the country posted a trade deficit of ZAR 1.19 billion in April. 

South African Revenue Service | Yekaterina Guchshina | yekaterina@tradingeconomics.com
5/31/2017 12:23:03 PM