Exports increased 9.2 percent month-over-month to ZAR 98.3 billion in March of 2018, mostly due to higher sales of base mineral (+12 percent); precious metals and stones (15 percent); base metals (19 percent) and machinery and electronics (10 percent). The most important export partners were: China (10.2 percent of total exports), the US (7.1 percent), Germany (7.0 percent), Japan (4.7 percent) and India (4.7 percent).
Imports dropped 2.0 percent month-over-month to ZAR 88.8 billion, mainly due to a fall in purchases of vegetable products (-31 percent) and mineral (-14 percent). In contrast, purchases increased for base metals (13 percent) and machinery and electronics (6 percent). Main import partners were: China (18.1 percent of total imports), Germany (10.1 percent), the US (6.3 percent), Saudi Arabia (4.9 percent) and Thailand (3.8 percent).
Excluding trade with neighboring Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia and Swaziland, the country posted a trade surplus of ZAR 1.9 billion in March.