Exports decreased by ZAR 3.02 billion or 3.2 percent to ZAR 92.22 billion in April of 2016 from an downwardly revised ZAR 95.24 billion in March, due to lower shipments of chemicals products (-13 percent), precious metals and stones (-10 percent), base metals (-6 percent) and mineral product (-3 percent). In contrast, exports of vehicles and transport equipment rose 9 percent. South African exports major destinations were China (8.7 percent of total exports), Germany (7.6 percent), the US (7.6 percent), Namibia (5.1 percent) and Botswana (4.9 percent).
Imports went down by ZAR 1.47 billion or 1.5 percent to ZAR 91.8 billion from ZAR 93.2 billion in the previous month, as purchases of vegetable products (-34 percent), optical photographic products (-10 percent), plastics and rubber (-6 percent) and mineral products (-3 percentt) decreased. Meantime, imports of machinery and electronics rose by 3 percent. The main sources of imports to the country were China (17.3 percent of total imports), Germany (12.4 percent), the US (7.3 percent), Japan (3.7 percent) and India (3.3 percent).
Since the beginning of 2016, the trade deficit narrowed 41.7 percent to ZAR 18.6 billion compared to ZAR 32 billion a year earlier.
Excluding trade with neighboring Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia and Swaziland, the country posted a ZAR 9.12 billion deficit in April.