South Africa Trade Balance Swings to Surplus in August

South African trade balance shifted to a ZAR 8.79 billion surplus in August of 2018 from an upwardly revised ZAR 5.29 bilion deficit in July and above market expectations of a ZAR 5 billion surplus. Considering the January to August period, the country posted a ZAR 2.66 billion surplus.

Exports increased 9.4 percent month-over-month to ZAR 116.88 billion in August 2018, driven by higher sales of vehicles and transport equipment (32 percent); mineral products (10 percent); precious metals and stones (7percent); chemicals (12 percent) and base metals (5 percent). The most important export partners were: China (9.0 percent of total exports), Germany (7.9 percent); the US (5.8 percent), the UK (5.3 percent) and India (5.0 percent).

Imports dropped 3.6 percent month-over-month to ZAR 112.15 billion, mainly due to lower purchases of mineral products (-37 percent) and  vegetables (-33 percent). On the other hand, higher purchases were recorded for precious machinery and electronics (6 percent); metals and stonces (28 percent) and original equipment components (8 percent). Main import partners were:  China (19 percent of total imports), Germany (11.7 percent), the US (6.3 percent), India (4.7 percent) and the UK (3.7 percent). 

Excluding trade with neighboring Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia and Swaziland, the country recorded a trade surplus of ZAR 0.05 billion in August.

South Africa Trade Balance Swings to Surplus in August

South African Revenue Service | Stefanie Moya |
9/28/2018 12:24:50 PM