South Africa Trade Balance Swings to Deficit in July


South Africa trade balance shifted to a ZAR 4.66 billion deficit in July of 2018 from a downwardly revised ZAR 11.89 billion surplus in the previous month and well below market consensus of a ZAR 5.4 billion surplus. It was the largest trade deficit since January, as exports fell while imports picked up. Considering the first seven months of the year, the country recorded a trade deficit of ZAR 6.51 billion.

Imports jumped 13.8 percent month-over-month to ZAR 111.7 billion in July of 2018, boosted by higher purchases of mineral products (23 percent); chemicals (17 percent); machinery and electronics (7 percent); vegetable products (88 percent) and base metals (17 percent). The most important import partners were: China (17.1 percent of total imports), Germany (9.9 percent), Saudi Arabia (7.2 percent); Nigeria (5.7 percent) and the US (5.4 percent).

Exports dropped 2.7 percent month-over-month to ZAR 107.1 billion, mostly due to lower sales of precious metals and stones (-19 percent); base metals (-5 percent) and other unclassified (-59 percent). On the other hand, sales rose for vegetable products (24 percent); machinery and electronics (8 percent) and mineral products (3 percent). Main export partners were: China (9.2 percent of total exports), the US (7.4 percent), Germany (6.4 percent), Japan (5.7 percent) and India (4.6 percent).

Excluding trade with neighboring Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia and Swaziland, the country recorded a trade deficit of ZAR 11.53 billion in July.

South Africa Trade Balance Swings to Deficit in July


South African Revenue Service | Stefanie Moya | stefanie.moya@tradingeconomics.com
8/31/2018 12:36:00 PM