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South Africa Merchandise Trade Statistics for April 2017

South Africa Merchandise Trade Statistics for April 2017
Photo credit: Waldo Swiegers | IOL

31 May 2017

South Africa trade surplus narrows in April

South Africa posted a trade surplus of R5.1 billion in April of 2017 compared to a downwardly revised R11.3 billion surplus in March and slightly below market expectations of R5.5 billion.

Exports fell 9.2 percent to R91.8 billion, due to lower sales of precious metals and stones, vehicles & transport equipment, machinery & electronics, and chemicals. Major destinations for exports were China (9.4 percent of total exports), Germany (7.7 percent), the US (6.9 percent), India (5 percent) and Japan (4.5 percent).

Imports went down 3.4 percent to R86.7 billion, driven by purchases of optical photographic products, original equipment components, vegetables, and chemicals. Imports came mainly from China (17.3 percent of total imports), Germany (10.5 percent), the US (6.3 percent), Saudi Arabia (5.9 percent) and  India (5 percent).

Excluding trade with neighboring Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia and Swaziland (BLNS), the country posted a trade deficit of R1.19 billion in April.


The South African Revenue Service (SARS) today releases trade statistics for April 2017 recording a trade balance surplus of R5.08 billion. These statistics include trade data with Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia and Swaziland (BLNS). The year-to-date (01 January to 30 April 2017) trade balance surplus of R9.89 billion is an improvement on the deficit for the comparable period in 2016 of R26.39 billion.

Including trade data with Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia and Swaziland (BLNS)

The R5.08 billion trade balance surplus for April 2017 is attributable to exports of R91.78 billion and imports of R86.70 billion. Exports decreased from March 2017 to April 2017 by R9.29 billion (9.2%) and imports decreased from March 2017 to April 2017 by R3.09 billion (3.4%).

Exports for the year-to-date (1 January to 30 April 2017) grew by 6.4% from R338.75 billion in 2016 to R360.27 billion in 2017. Imports for the year-to-date of R350.38 billion are 4.0% less than the imports recorded in January to April 2016 of R365.14 billion.

On a year-on-year basis, the R5.08 billion trade balance surplus for April 2017 is an improvement from the deficit recorded in April 2016 of R2.12 billion. Exports of R91.78 billion are 2% more than the exports recorded in March 2016 of R90.02 billion. Imports of R86.70 billion are 5.9% less than the imports recorded in April 2016 of R92.14 billion.

March 2017’s trade balance surplus was revised downwards by R0.16 billion from the previous month’s preliminary surplus of R11.44 billion to a revised surplus of R11.28 billion as a result of ongoing Vouchers of Correction (VOC’s).

Trade highlights by category

The main month-on-month export movements (R’ million)

Section:

Including BLNS:

Vehicles & Transport Equipment

- R2 287

- 18%

Machinery & Electronics

- R1 591

- 18%

Precious Metals & Stones

- R1 344

- 8%

Chemical Products

- R1 232

- 19%

Vegetable Products

- R1 203

- 23%

Other Unclassified

- R 936

- 64%

Plastic & Rubber

- R 589

- 29%

Wood Pulp & Paper

- R 477

- 23%

Mineral Products

+ R2 254

+ 10%

The main month-on-month import movements (R’ million)

Section:

Including BLNS:

Original Equipment Components

- R1 285

- 17%

Optical Photographic Products

- R 762

- 26%

Vegetable Products

- R 435

- 22%

Chemical Products

- R 363

- 4%

Vehicles & Transport Equipment

+ R 395

+ 4%

Trade highlights by world zone

The world zone results from March 2017 (revised) to April 2017 are given below.

Africa:

Exports: R22 304 million – this is a decrease of R4 663 million from March 2017.
Imports: R10 173 million – this is an increase of R 392 million from March 2017.

Trade Balance surplus: R12 131 million – this is a 29.4% decrease in comparison to the R17 186 million surplus recorded in March 2017.

America:

Exports: R7 742 million – this is a decrease of R 376 million from March 2017.
Imports: R8 722 million – this is a decrease of R2 011 million from March 2017.

Trade Balance deficit: R 980 million – this is a 62.5% decrease in comparison to the R2 615 million deficit recorded in March 2017.

Asia:

Exports: R29 981 million – this is a decrease of R 527 million from March 2017.
Imports: R38 804 million – this is an increase of R3 018 million from March 2017.

Trade Balance deficit: R8 823 million – this is a 67.2% increase in comparison to the R5 278 million deficit recorded in March 2017.

Europe:

Exports: R23 662 million – this is a decrease of R3 192 million from March 2017.
Imports: R27 416 million – this is a decrease of R4 808 million from March 2017.

Trade Balance deficit: R3 754 million – this is a 30.1% decrease in comparison to the R5 370 million deficit recorded in March 2017.

Oceania:

Exports: R1 158 million – this is a decrease of R 156 million from March 2017.
Imports: R1 011 million – this is a decrease of R 148 million from March 2017.

Trade Balance surplus: R 147 million – this is a 5.8% decrease in comparison to the R 156 million surplus recorded in March 2017.


Excluding trade data with Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia and Swaziland (BLNS)

The trade data excluding BLNS for April 2017 recorded a trade balance deficit of R1.19 billion. This was a result of exports of R82.66 billion and imports of R83.85 billion.

Exports decreased from March 2017 to April 2017 by R7.18 billion (8.0%) and imports decreased from March 2017 to April 2017 by R2.67 billion (3.1%).

The cumulative deficit for 2017 is R17.21 billion compared to R60.33 billion deficit in 2016.

Trade highlights by category

The main month-on-month export movements (R’ million)

Section:

Excluding BLNS:

Vehicles & Transport Equipment

- R1 908

- 17%

Machinery & Electronics

- R1 329

- 19%

Chemical Products

- R1 129

- 20%

Vegetable Products

- R1 050

- 24%

Other unclassified

- R 931

- 64%

Precious Metals & Stones

- R758

- 5%

Plastics & Rubber

- R 506

- 33%

Wood pulp & Paper

- R 428

- 23%

Mineral Products

+ R2 236

+ 10%

The main month-on-month import movements (R’ million)

Section:

Excluding BLNS:

Original Equipment Components

- R1 285

- 17%

Optical Photographic Products

- R 765

- 26%

Vegetable Products

- R 435

- 22%

Chemical Products

- R 413

- 5%

Precious Metals & Stones

+ R 392

+ 95%

Trade highlights by world zone

The world zone results for Africa excluding BLNS from March 2017 (Revised) to April 2017 are given below.

Africa:

Exports: R13 187 million – this is a decrease of R2 559 million from March 2017.
Imports: R7 327 million – this is an increase of R 812 million from March 2017.

Trade Balance surplus: R5 861 million – this is a 36.5% decrease in comparison to the R9 231 million surplus recorded in March 2017.


Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia and Swaziland (Only)

Trade statistics with the BLNS for April 2017 recorded a trade balance surplus of R6.27 billion. This was a result of exports of R9.12 billion and imports of R2.85 billion.

Exports decreased from March 2017 to April 2017 by R2.10 billion (18.8%) and imports also decreased from March 2017 to April 2017 by R0.42 billion (12.9%).

The cumulative surplus for 2017 is R27.10 billion compared to R33.94 billion in 2016.

Trade Highlights by Category

The main month-on-month export movements (R’ million)

Section:

BLNS:

Precious Metals & Stones

- R 586

- 95%

Vehicles & Transport Equipment

- R 379

- 30%

Machinery & Electronics

- R 262

- 16%

Vegetable Products

- R 153

- 23%

Base Metals

- R 124

- 17%

Textiles

- R 108

-17%

Chemical Products

- R 103

- 11%

The main month-on-month import movements (R’ million)

Section:

BLNS:

Precious Metals & Stones

- R 172

- 29%

Textiles

- R 96

- 21%

Prepared Foodstuff

- R 92

- 18%

Machinery & Electronics

- R 46

- 16%

Chemical Products

+ R 50

+ 9%

Source Trading Economics and SARS
Website Visit website
Date 31 May 2017
 
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