South Africa Trade Surplus Narrows Sharply in April


South Africa trade surplus decreased to ZAR 1.14 billion in April of 2018 from a downwardly revised ZAR 9.30 billion in the prior month, missing market expectations of a ZAR 3.7 billion surplus. Considering the January to April period, the country recorded a trade deficit of ZAR 17.6 billion.

Exports went down 9.8 percent month-over-month to ZAR 88.5 billion in April of 2018, dragged down by lower sales of vehicles and transport equipment (-19 percent); base metals (-11 percent); mineral products (-5 percent); precious metals and stones (-7 percent) and chemical products (-15 percent). The most important export partners were: China (9.8 percent of total exports), the US (6.6 percent), Germany (6.5 percent), India (5.2 percent) and Japan (4.7 percent).

Imports declined 1.6 percent month-over-month to ZAR 87.4 billion, mostly due to lower purchases of base metals (-17 percent); textiles (-17 percent); chemical products (-4 percent) and vehicles and transport equipment (-4 percent). In contrast, imports increased for mineral products (9 percent). Main import partners were: China (16.4 percent of total imports), Germany (9.6 percent), Saudi Arabia (6.7 perent) and the US (6.3 percent).

Excluding trade with neighboring Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia and Swaziland, the country posted a trade deficit of ZAR 6.2 billion in April.

South Africa Trade Surplus Narrows Sharply in April


South African Revenue Service | Luisa Carvalho | luisa.carvalho@tradingeconomics.com
5/31/2018 2:35:01 PM