South Africa Trade Balance Swings to Deficit in April


South Africa posted a trade gap of ZAR 3.43 billion in April 2019 compared to a downwardly revised ZAR 4.70 billion surplus in the prior month and against market expectations of a ZAR 1.25 billion surplus. Exports fell 1.3 percent while imports soared 6.8 percent.

Exports decreased 1.3 percent month-over-month to ZAR 103.75 billion in April 2019, as sales fell for precious metals & stones (-14 percent); chemical products (-9 percent) and vegetable products (-11 percent). In contrast, shipments rose for vehicles & transport equipments (9 percent) and base metals (7 percent). The most important export partners were China (10.8 percent of total sales), Germany (8 percent), the US (6.9 percent), the UK (5.7 percent) and India (5.6 percent).

Imports climbed 6.8 percent from a month earlier to ZAR 107.18 billion, fuelled by purchases of machinery & electronics (18 percent); plastics & rubber (24 percent) and minereal products (5 percent). On the other hand, imports declined for original equipment components (-12 percent) and vehicles & transport equipments (-10 percent). Main import partners were China (17.8 percent of total purchases), Germany (9.8 percent), the US (6.5 percent), Nigeria (6.2 percent) and India (4.8 percent).

Excluding trade with neighbouring Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia and Swaziland, the country's trade gap widened to ZAR 11.18 billion from an upwardly revised ZAR 2.79 billion in the previous month. Exports dropped 0.7 percent to ZAR 92.63 billion while imports surged 8 percent to ZAR 103.82 billion.

South Africa Trade Balance Swings to Deficit in April


South African Revenue Service | Luisa Carvalho | luisa.carvalho@tradingeconomics.com
5/31/2019 4:26:28 PM