South Africa Trade Balance Swings to Surplus in February


South Africa trade balance shifted to a ZAR 3.99 billion in February 2019 from a ZAR 13.08 billion in the previous month and beating market expectations of a ZAR 2 billion surplus. Considering the first two months of the year, the country posted a trade shortfall of ZAR 9.08 billion.

Exports rose 10.7 percent month-over-month to ZAR 98.14 billion in February 2019, mainly boosted by higher sales of vehicle & transport equipments (126 percent); machinery & electronics (19 percent) and base metals (12 percent). Meanwhile, sales declined for precious metals & stones (-10 percent) and mineral products (-7 percent). The most important export partners were: Germany 9.6 percent of total exports), China (8.8 percent), the US (6.8 percent), Japan (5.3 percent) and India (4.6 percent).

Imports dropped 7.7 percent from a month earlier to ZAR 94.15 billion, mostly due to lower purchases of machinery & electronics (-18 percent); chemical products (-17 percent); base metals (-19 percent) and plastics & rubber (-22 percent). On the other hand, purchases of mineral products increased (14 percent). Main import partners were: China (20.7 percent of total imports), Germany (10.6 percent), the US (6.6 percent), Nigeria (5.4 percent) and India (4.6 percent).

Excluding trade with neighbouring Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia and Swaziland, the country recorded a trade gap of ZAR 3.28 billion.

South Africa Trade Balance Swings to Surplus in February


South African Revenue Service | Stefanie Moya | stefanie.moya@tradingeconomics.com
3/29/2019 12:46:29 PM