The February to March, exports fell 3.0 percent to ZAR 80.26 billion. Sales of mineral products decreased sharply by 16.7 percent and shipments of precious metals and stones fell by 3.6 percent. In contrast, exports of chemicals increased 20.0 percent, while those of machinery and electronics rose 9.0 percent.
Imports surged 11.6 percent in March to ZAR 91.65 billion, boosted by purchases of mineral products (+36.9 percent); machinery and electronics (+13.4 percent); vegetable (+77.0 percent) and vehicle and transport equipment (+9.3 percent). Imports of textiles, base metals and footwear fell 24.5 percent, 17.2 percent and 40.2 percent, respectively.
The cumulative deficit for 2014 is ZAR 27.69 billion, compared to ZAR 21.61 billion over the same period in 2013.
Considering trade with neighbor countries Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia and Swaziland, South Africa recorded a trade surplus of ZAR 9.77 billion in March.