South Africa posted a trade surplus of 5.22 billion in July of 2016, after a downwardly revised ZAR 12.47 billion surplus in June and below market expectations of ZAR 8.1 billion surplus, as exports fell 9 percent and imports decreased at a slower 2.4 percent.
Exports decreased by ZAR 9.4 billion or 9 percent to ZAR 95.72 billion in July of 2016 from a downwardly revised ZAR 105.16 billion in the previous month, as outbound shipment dropped the most for precious metals and stones (-22 percent); wood pulp & paper (-18 percent); base metals (-11 percent); vegetable products (-9 percent) and mineral product (-3 percent), while sales of vehicles & transport equipment rose (+4 percent). The major export destination were China (8.1 percent of total exports), Germany (7.6 percent), the US (7.4 percent), the Japan (5.1 percent) and Namibia (4.9 percent).
Imports fell by ZAR 2.2 billion or 2.4 percent to ZAR 90.5 billion from a downwardly revised ZAR 92.6 billion in a month earlier, due to decline in equipment components (-10 percent); machinery and electronics (-6 percent) and chemicals (-5 percent). In contrast, imports went up for animal/vegetable fats (+63 percent) and base metals (+9 percent).The main imports partners were China (18.1 percent of total imports), Germany (13 percent), the US (6.1 percent), India (4.8 percent) and Nigeria (4.5 percent).
In the first seven months of 2016, the trade deficit was recorded at ZAR 42.61 billion compared to ZAR 84.86 billion trade gap a year earlier
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