Exports grew by ZAR 4.26 billion or 4.7 percent to ZAR 94.21 billion, mainly due to higher sales of wood pulp and paper (+39 percent), base metals (+17.3 percent) and mineral products (+16.1 percent). Also, shipments of machinery and electronics went up by 6.3 percent. By contrast, precious metals and stones sales fell 5.4 percent. The major destinations of South African shipments were China (10 percent of total exports), the US (7.8 percent), Germany (6.4 percent), Namibia (5.1 percent) and Japan (4.5 percent).
Imports increased by ZAR 10.14 billion or 12 percent to ZAR 94.61 billion, as vehicle and transport equipment; and equipment components purchases increased by 20.1 percent and 19 percent, respectively. Also, imports of mineral products went up by 12.7 percent; purchases of chemical products expanded by 12.6 percent; and imports of machinery and electronics grew 5 percent. The main sources of imports to the country were China (17.9 percent of total imports), Germany (12.6 percent), the US (6.5 percent), India (5.7 percent) and Japan (3.8 percent).
So far this year, the trade deficit narrowed 52.7 percent to ZAR 25.23 billion compared to ZAR 53.37 million a year earlier.
Excluding trade with neighboring Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia and Swaziland, the country posted a ZAR 9.22 billion deficit in July.