South Africa Trade Balance Swings to Deficit in September



South Africa trade balance shifted to a ZAR 2.95 billion deficit in September of 2018 from a downwardly revised ZAR 8.77 billion surplus and well below market expectations of a ZAR 4.0 billion surplus. It was the smallest trade gap since February. Considering the January to September period, the country posted a ZAR 0.33 billion gap.

Exports fell 2.6 percent month-over-month to ZAR 113.69 billion in September 2018, mainly due to lower sales of vegetables products (-16 percent); machinery and electronics (-7 percent); vehicles and transport equipment (-6 percent) and base metals (-5 percent). Main export partners were: Germany (9.1 percent of total exports), China (7.2 percent), the US (6.8 percent), the UK (5.8 percent) and India (5.3 percent).

Imports jumped 8.0 percent month-over-month to ZAR 116.65 billion, boosted by higher purchases of mineral products (75 percent) and machinery and electronics (5 percent). On the other hand, imports dropped for original equipment components (-12 percent); vehicles and transport equipments (-8 percent) and chemical products (-5 percent). The most important import partners were: China (17.7 percent of total imports), Germany (9.8 percent), Saudi Arabia (9.2 percent), the US (6.2 percent) and Nigeria (4.5 percent).

Excluding trade with neighboring Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia and Swaziland, the country recorded a trade deficit of ZAR 11.78 billion in September.

South Africa Trade Balance Swings to Deficit in September


South African Revenue Service | Stefanie Moya | stefanie.moya@tradingeconomics.com
10/31/2018 12:21:24 PM