Exports declined 22.6 percent month-over-month to ZAR 80.5 billion in January of 2018, mainly due to decreases in precious metals and stones (-34 percent); mineral products (-21 percent); vehicles and transport equipment (-47 percent); machinery and electronics (-21 percent) and prepared foodstuff (-27 percent). The most important export partners were: China (9.5 percent of total exports); the US (7.0 percent); Germany (5.9 percent); India (5.3 percent) and Japan (5.0 percent).
Imports increased 18.3 percent month-over-month to ZAR 108.2 billion, namely original equipment components (139 percent); precious metals and stones (137 percent); mineral products (21 percent); machinery and electronics (10 percent); base metals (56 percent); chemical products (15 percent); plastics and rubber (32 percent) and textiles (39 percent). Main import partners were: China (20.4 percent of total imports); Germany (9.5 percent); Saudi Arabia (6.8 percent); the US (5.0 percent) and India (4.2 percent).
Excluding trade with neighboring Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia and Swaziland, the country posted a trade deficit of ZAR 33.8 billion in January swinging from a ZAR 7.5 billion deficit in December.