South Africa Trade Balance Swings To Deficit in January

South Africa posted a trade deficit of ZAR 10.81 billion in January of 2017 compared to an upwardly revised ZAR 12.41 billion surplus in December and below market forecasts of a ZAR 16 billion deficit. Imports jumped 12.5 percent, mainly due to higher purchases of equipment components and machinery & electronics. Exports went down at a faster 14 percent, due to lower sales of vehicles & transport equipment and mineral products.

Imports rose to ZAR 91.4 billion, as purchases rebounded for: equipment components (149 percent), machinery & electronics (12 percent), base metals (48 percent), chemical products (21 percent), plastic & rubber (41 percent) and textiles (53 percent). Meanwhile, vehicles & transport equipment (-34 percent) and mineral products imports (-12 percent) went down. Imports came mainly from China (19.9 percent of total imports), Germany (11.6 percent), the US (5.4 percent) Saudi Arabia (4.7 percent) and India (4.1 percent). 

Exports declined to ZAR 80.6 billion mainly driven by lower sales of vehicles & transport equipment (-32 percent), mineral products (-10 percent), machinery & electronics (-25 percent), precious metals & stones (-7 percent), prepare foodstuff (-27 percent), chemical products (-12 percent) and base metals (-6 percent). Major destinations for exports were China (12 percent of total exports), the US (6.5 percent), Germany (6.4 percent), Japan (4.6 percent) and Botswana (4.4 percent).

Excluding trade with neighboring Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia and Swaziland, the country posted a trade gap of ZAR 17.6 billion in January. 

South Africa Trade Balance Swings To Deficit in January

South African Revenue Service | Deborah Neves |
2/28/2017 12:46:37 PM