South Africa Trade Surplus Well Below Expectations

South Africa trade surplus decreased to ZAR 4.00 billion in September of 2017 from an upwardly revised 5.98 billion surplus in August, and below market expectations of a ZAR 7.0 billion surplus. Exports decreased 1.6 percent after an 11 percent jump in August while imports advanced at 0.4 percent. Considering the January to September period, exports increased 5.4 percent and imports decreased 1.2 percent, shifting the country's trade balance into a ZAR 47.1 billion surplus from a ZAR 6.7 billion gap in the same period of 2016.

Compared with the previous month, exports decreased to ZAR 101.8 billion from ZAR 103.4 billion, led by a fall in shipments of base metals (-12 percent); vegetable products (-16 percent); chemical products (-15 percent) and precious metals and stones (-6 percent), while vehicles and transport equipment (14 percent) and mineral products (7 percent) rose. Major destinations for sales were China (9.9 percent); the US (8.2 percent); Germany (6.1 percent); India (6 percent) and Japan (4.9 percent).

Imports advanced to ZAR 97.8 billion from ZAR 97.4 billion, due to higher purchases of vegetable products (107 percent); mineral products (5 percent); chemical products (5 percent); prepared  foodstuffs (11 percent) and animals and vegetable fats (47 percent). Imports came mostly from China (17.9 percent of total imports); Germany (11.8 percent); the US (6.7 percent); Saudi Arabia (4.7 percent) and India (4.2 percent).

Excluding trade with neighboring Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia and Swaziland, the country posted a trade deficit of ZAR 4.3 billion in September compared to a ZAR 1.9 billion gap in August.

South Africa Trade Surplus Well Below Expectations

South African Revenue Service | Stefanie Moya |
10/31/2017 2:28:44 PM