South Africa Trade Surplus Narrows in July


South Africa trade surplus decreased to ZAR 8.99 billion in July of 2017 from a downwardly revised ZAR 10.56 billion surplus in June, beating market expectations of a ZAR 5.8 billion surplus. Exports fell 8.7 percent and imports declined at a slower 8 percent. Considering the January to July period, exports rose 4.4 percent and imports tumbled 2.2 percent, shifting the country's trade balance into a ZAR 36.6 billion surplus from a ZAR 4.703 billion gap in the same period of 2016.

Compared with the previous month, exports declined to ZAR 93.09 billion from ZAR 102.02 billion, mainly due to lower shipments of precious metals and stones(-21 percent); base metals (-12 percent); mineral products (-5 percent); machinery and electronics (-5 percent) and wood and wood articles (-30 percent). Major destinations for exports were China (8.7 percent of total exports), Germany (7.8 percent), the US (7.6 percent), Japan (5.3 percent) and Namibia (4.3 percent).

Imports fell to ZAR 84.11 billion from ZAR 91.46 billion, due to lower purchases of mineral products (-27 percent); original equipment components (-17 percent); base metals (-18 percent); vehicles and transport equipment (-11 percent) and machinery and electronics (-5 percent). Imports came mainly from China (18 percent of total imports), Germany (11.9 percent), the US (7 percent), India (5.4 percent) and Japan (3.6 percent).

Excluding trade with neighboring Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia and Swaziland, the country posted a trade surplus of ZAR 2.3 billion in July.

South African Revenue Service |Luisa Carvalho | luisa.carvalho@tradingeconomics.com
8/31/2017 1:25:41 PM