Exports rose a meager 0.6 percent to ZAR 78.36 billion from April to May. Sales of wood pulp and paper jumped 34.8 percent and those of vegetables products surged 18.2 percent. Shipments of mineral products rose 5.5 percent while those of precious metals and stones fell 16.5 percent.
Imports decreased sharply by 5.9 percent to ZAR 84.93 billion in May. Purchases of vehicles and transport equipment fell the most on the month by 22.4 percent, followed by chemical products (-10.3 percent) and machinery and electronics (-8.9 percent). In contrast, imports of precious metals and stones rose 51.7 percent.
The cumulative deficit for 2014 amounts to ZAR 47.13 billion, compared with ZAR 34.56 billion over the same period in 2013.