South Africa's trade surplus rose to ZAR 54.60 billion in May of 2021 from an upwardly revised ZAR 51.26 billion in the previous month and beating market expectations of ZAR 46.5 billion. It was the largest monthly trade surplus ever recorded. Exports increased by 1.5% to ZAR 163.51 billion, as higher shipments of vehicles & transport equipment (26%), vegetables (35%) and chemical products (9%) outweighed decreases in those of precious metals & stones (-5%) and mineral products (-7%). Main export partners were the US (12.5% of total overseas sales), China (10.9%), Germany (8.6%), Japan (8.6%) and the UK (7.2%). Meanwhile, imports went down 0.9% to ZAR 108.91 billion, as sharp declines in purchases of precious metals & stones (-42%) and original equipment components (-8%) more than offset increases in those of mineral products (9%) and base metals (14%). Main import partners were China (20% of total purchases), Germany (8.3%) and the US (6.6%). source: South African Revenue Service

Balance of Trade in South Africa averaged 747.05 ZAR Million from 1957 until 2021, reaching an all time high of 54597.72 ZAR Million in May of 2021 and a record low of -36108.92 ZAR Million in April of 2020. This page provides the latest reported value for - South Africa Balance of Trade - plus previous releases, historical high and low, short-term forecast and long-term prediction, economic calendar, survey consensus and news. South Africa Balance of Trade - data, historical chart, forecasts and calendar of releases - was last updated on July of 2021.

Balance of Trade in South Africa is expected to be 67000.00 ZAR Million by the end of this quarter, according to Trading Economics global macro models and analysts expectations. Looking forward, we estimate Balance of Trade in South Africa to stand at 28000.00 in 12 months time. In the long-term, the South Africa Balance of Trade is projected to trend around 40000.00 ZAR Million in 2022 and 31300.00 ZAR Million in 2023, according to our econometric models.

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South Africa Balance of Trade

Actual Previous Highest Lowest Dates Unit Frequency
54597.72 51255.72 54597.72 -36108.92 1957 - 2021 ZAR Million Monthly


Calendar GMT Actual Previous Consensus TEForecast
2021-03-31 12:00 PM Feb ZAR28.96B ZAR12.42B ZAR19.5B ZAR 20B
2021-04-30 12:00 PM Mar ZAR52.77B ZAR31.226B ZAR25B ZAR 18B
2021-05-31 12:00 PM Apr ZAR51.24B ZAR52.57B ZAR31B ZAR 64B
2021-06-30 12:00 PM May ZAR 54.6B ZAR51.26B ZAR46.5B ZAR 49B
2021-07-30 12:00 PM Jun ZAR 54.6B ZAR 63B
2021-08-31 12:00 PM Jul
2021-09-30 12:00 PM Aug
2021-10-29 12:00 PM Sep ZAR 43B


News Stream
South Africa Posts Largest Trade Surplus on Record
South Africa's trade surplus rose to ZAR 54.60 billion in May of 2021 from an upwardly revised ZAR 51.26 billion in the previous month and beating market expectations of ZAR 46.5 billion. It was the largest monthly trade surplus ever recorded. Exports increased by 1.5% to ZAR 163.51 billion, as higher shipments of vehicles & transport equipment (26%), vegetables (35%) and chemical products (9%) outweighed decreases in those of precious metals & stones (-5%) and mineral products (-7%). Main export partners were the US (12.5% of total overseas sales), China (10.9%), Germany (8.6%), Japan (8.6%) and the UK (7.2%). Meanwhile, imports went down 0.9% to ZAR 108.91 billion, as sharp declines in purchases of precious metals & stones (-42%) and original equipment components (-8%) more than offset increases in those of mineral products (9%) and base metals (14%). Main import partners were China (20% of total purchases), Germany (8.3%) and the US (6.6%).
2021-06-30
South Africa Trade Surplus Shrinks in April
South Africa's trade surplus shrank to ZAR 51.24 billion in April of 2021 from a downwardly revised ZAR 52.57 billion in the previous month and surpassed market expectations of ZAR 31 billion. Exports went down by 3.9 percent to ZAR 161.47 billion weighed down by fewer shipments of mineral products (-2.6 percent); vehicles, aircraft, vessels & transport equipment (-13.0 percent); base metals & articles thereof (-12.0 percent); machinery & electronics (-9.6 percent); chemicals (-12.4 percent); and vegetable products (-23.2 percent). Exports to Asia, the largest export destination, declined by 1.4 percent. Meantime, imports fell 4.6 percent to ZAR 110.23 billion, on fewer purchases of machinery & electronics (-7.6 percent); chemicals (-19.4 percent); and original equipment components (-17.4 percent). Imports from Asia, the most relevant origin of imports, fell 10.6 percent.
2021-05-31
South Africa Posts Record Trade Surplus in March
South Africa's trade surplus rose to ZAR 52.77 billion in March of 2021 from an upwardly revised ZAR 31.22 billion in the previous month and beating market consensus of a ZAR 25 billion. It was the largest monthly trade surplus ever recorded, as exports jumped 28.9% to ZAR 168.29 billion boosted by shipments of precious metals & stones (41%); vehicles & transport equipment (32%); mineral products (22%); vegetable products (43%) and chemicals (31%). Meantime, imports advanced at a slower 16.3% to ZAR 115.52 billion, lifted by purchases of chemicals (46%); machinery & electronics (20%); vehicles & transport equipment (30%) and original equipment components (15%).
2021-04-30
South Africa Trade Surplus Above Estimates
South Africa's trade surplus rose to ZAR 28.96 billion in February of 2021 from an upwardly revised ZAR 12.42 billion in the previous month and beating market consensus of a ZAR 19.5 billion surplus. Exports jumped 16.5% to ZAR 128.25 billion, mainly boosted by sales of vehicles & transport equipment (73%); machinery & electronics (26%) and base metals (25%). Meantime, imports advanced at a much slower 1.6 percent to ZAR 99.29 billion, as higher purchases of mineral products (32%) and original equipment components (16%) were partly offset by declines in those of machinery & electronics (-9%); vehicles & transport equipment (-14%) and chemical products (-12%).
2021-03-31

South Africa Balance of Trade
In 2017, South Africa recorded the biggest trade deficits with China, Saudi Arabia, Germany, Thailand, France, Nigeria, Italy and Brazil and the biggest trade surpluses with Botswana, Namibia, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Belgium and Netherlands.