Exports rose 15.4 percent from the previous month to ZAR 105.0 billion, boosted by higher sales of miscellaneous manufactured articles (220 percent), vegetable products (46 percent), chemical products (28 percent), vehicles and transport equipment (15 percent) and base metals (14 percent). Major destinations for exports were China (7.8 percent of total exports), the US (7.8 percent), Germany (7.5 percent), India (4.8 percent) and Japan (4.4 percent).
Imports increased 11 percent to ZAR 95.5 billion, as purchases went up for: Original equipment components (33 percent); mineral products (22 percent); textiles (16 percent); chemical products (9 percent), and machinery and electronics (7 percent). Imports came mainly from China (18.7 percent of total imports), Germany (12.4 percent), the US (6.8 percent), Saudi Arabia (6 percent) and India (4.4 percent).
Excluding trade with neighboring Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia and Swaziland, the country posted a trade surplus of ZAR 1.9 billion in May compared with a ZAR 1.3 billion in April.
In the January-May period, the trade balance posted a ZAR 19.5 billion surplus compared with a ZAR 13.3 billion deficit in the same period of 2016.