Exports increased 3.8 percent month-over-month to ZAR 87.49 billion. Sales of vegetables recorded the highest gain (46.9 percent), followed by mineral products (24.9 percent) and wood pulp and paper (24.8 percent). In contrast, shipments of vehicles and transport equipment fell 19 percent and those of machinery and electronics shrank 4 percent.
Imports contracted 9.9 percent to ZAR 80.6 billion, driven by a 21.4 percent drop in equipment purchases and a 13.1 percent decrease in imports of machinery and electronics. Purchases of chemical products fell 12.5 percent and those of mineral decreased 7.4 percent while imports of vehicles and transport equipment rose 12.8 percent.
Considering full 2014, the country posted a ZAR 95.30 billion gap, compared to a ZAR 71.36 billion deficit in 2013. Exports rose 6.6 percent while imports increased at a faster 8.6 percent.
Excluding trade with neighbor countries, South Africa posted a ZAR 0.68 billion deficit in December, bringing full 2014 trade gap to ZAR 198.92 billion.