South Africa Trade Surplus Largest in 18 Months

South Africa trade surplus increased to ZAR 13.02 billion in November of 2017 from a downwardly revised ZAR 4.34 billion in October, and well above market expectations of a ZAR 1.3 billion surplus. It is the highest trade surplus since May of 2016, as exports increased 11.5 percent and imports went up 3.3 percent. Considering the January to November period, exports increased 7.6 percent and imports remained unchanged, shifting the country's trade balance into a ZAR 64.74 billion surplus from a ZAR 11.2 billion gap in the same period of 2016.

Compared with the previous month, exports increased to ZAR 116.1 billion, led by precious metals and stones (21 percent); base metals (19 percent); vehicles and transport equipment (16 percent); machinery and electronics (12 percent) and mineral products (7 percent). Main export partners were: China (11 percent of total exports); the US (9.2 percent); Germany (6.7 percent); Japan (4.8 percent) and India (4.6 percent).

Imports advanced to ZAR 103.1 billion, due to higher purchases of animal and vegetable fats (66 percent); wood pulp and paper (31 percent); mineral products (7 percent) and machinery and electronics (7 percent) while original equipment components fell (-8 percent). The most important import partners were: China (18.8% of total imports); Germany (11.3 percent); the US (5.8 percent); India (4.5 percent) and Saudi Arabia (4.5 percent).

Excluding trade with neighboring Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia and Swaziland, the country posted a trade surplus of ZAR 3.8 billion in November swinging from a ZAR 4.3 billion deficit in October.

South Africa Trade Surplus Largest in 18 Months

South African Revenue | Stefanie Moya |
12/28/2017 1:41:35 PM