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South Africa Merchandise Trade Statistics for September 2017

South Africa Merchandise Trade Statistics for September 2017
Photo credit: Graeme Williams | MediaClub South Africa

31 Oct 2017

South Africa trade surplus well below expectations

South Africa’s trade surplus decreased to R4.00 billion in September of 2017 from an upwardly revised 5.98 billion surplus in August, and below market expectations of a R7.0 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 R47.1 billion surplus from a R6.7 billion gap in the same period of 2016.

Compared with the previous month, exports decreased to R101.8 billion from R103.4 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 R97.8 billion from R97.4 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 R4.3 billion in September compared to a R1.9 billion gap in August.


The South African Revenue Service (SARS) today releases trade statistics for September 2017 recording a trade balance surplus of R4.00 billion. These statistics include trade data with Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia and Swaziland (BLNS).

The year-to-date (01 January to 30 September 2017) trade balance surplus of R47.12 billion is an improvement on the deficit for the comparable period in 2016 of R6.66 billion. Exports for the year-to-date grew by 5.4% whilst imports for the same period declined by 1.2%.

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

The R4.00 billion trade balance surplus for September 2017 is attributable to exports of R101.76 billion and imports of R97.76 billion. Exports decreased from August 2017 to September 2017 by R1.61 billion (1.6%) and imports increased from August 2017 to September 2017 by R0.36 billion (0.4%).

Exports for the year-to-date (01 January to 30 September 2017) grew by 5.4% from R818.59 billion in 2016 to R862.61 billion in 2017. Imports for the year-to-date of R815.49 billion are 1.2% less than the imports recorded in January to September 2016 of R825.25 billion, leaving a cumulative trade balance surplus of R47.12 billion for 2017.

On a year-on-year basis, the R4.00 billion trade balance surplus for September 2017 is a deterioration from the surplus recorded in September 2016 of R7.01 billion. Exports of R101.76 billion are 2.6% more than the exports recorded in September 2016 of R99.22 billion. Imports of R97.76 billion are 6.0% more than the imports recorded in September 2016 of R92.21 billion.

August 2017’s trade balance surplus was revised upwards by R0.04 billion from the previous month’s preliminary surplus of R5.94 billion to a revised surplus of R5.98 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:

Base Metals

-R1 480

-12%

Vegetable Products

-R1 214

-16%

Chemical Products

-R1 030

-15%

Precious Metals & Stones

-R1 025

-6%

Vehicles & Transport Equipment

+R1 662

+14%

Mineral Products

+R1 700

+7%

Total

-R1 387

86%

Total Movement

-R1 612

100%

 

The main month-on-month import movements: R’ million

Section:

Including BLNS:

Vegetable Products

+R1 782

+107%

Mineral Products

+R 717

+5%

Chemical Products

+R 544

+5%

Prepared Foodstuff

+R 374

+11%

Animals/Vegetable Fats

+R 301

+41%

Precious Metals & Stones

-R 229

-18%

Textiles

-R 384

-9%

Vehicles & Transport Equipment

-R755

-8%

Machinery & Electronics

-R979

-4%

Original Equipment Components

-R1 105

-12%

Total

+R 266

74%

Total Movement

+R 362

100%

Trade highlights by world zone

The world zone results from August 2017 (revised) to September 2017 are given below.

Africa:

Exports: R26 794 million – this is a decrease of R 941 million from August 2017.
Imports: R10 511 million – this is a decrease of R 383 million from August 2017.

Trade Balance surplus: R16 283 million – this is a deterioration of R 559 million in comparison to the R16 841 million surplus recorded in August 2017.

America:

Exports: R10 038 million – this is an increase of R 66 million from August 2017.
Imports: R10 551 million – this is an increase of R 631 million from August 2017.

Trade Balance deficit: R 513 million – this is a deterioration of R 565 million in comparison to the R52 million surplus recorded in August 2017.

Asia:

Exports: R35 537 million – this is an increase of R4 077 million from August 2017.
Imports: R43 189 million – this is a decrease of R 471 million from August 2017.

Trade Balance deficit: R7 652 million – this is an improvement of R4 548 million in comparison to the R12 200 million deficit recorded in August 2017.

Europe:

Exports: R22 983 million – this is a decrease of R2 727 million from August 2017.
Imports: R31 864 million – this is an increase of R 535 million from August 2017.

Trade Balance deficit: R8 881 million – this is a deterioration of R3 262 million in comparison to the R5 619 million deficit recorded in August 2017.

Oceania:

Exports: R1 393 million – this is a decrease of R 3 million from August 2017.
Imports: R1 394 million – this is a decrease of R 66 million from August 2017.

Trade Balance deficit: R1 million – this is an improvement of R 62 million in comparison to the R 63 million deficit recorded in August 2017.


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

The trade data excluding BLNS for September 2017 recorded a trade balance deficit of R 4.31 billion. This is a result of exports of R90.11 billion and imports of R94.42 billion.

Exports decreased from August 2017 to September 2017 by R1.44 billion (1.6%) and imports increased from August 2017 to September 2017 by R1.01 billion (1.1%).

The cumulative deficit for 2017 is R21.69 billion compared to R85.99 billion deficit in 2016.

Trade highlights by category

The main month-on-month export movements: R’ million

Section:

Excluding BLNS:

Vegetable Products

-R1 169

-16%

Precious Metals & Stones

-R1 168

-7%

Base Metals

-R 1 478

-13%

Chemical Products

-R 989

-18%

Vehicles & Transport Equipment

+R1 703

+16%

Mineral Products

+R1 756

+8%

Total

- R1 392

94%

Total Movement

- R1 438

100%

 

The main month-on-month import movements: R’ million

Section:

Excluding BLNS:

Vegetable Products

+R1 791

+111%

Mineral Products

+R 726

+5%

Chemical Products

+R 577

+6%

Prepared Foodstuff

+R 421

+14%

Animals/Vegetable Fats

+R 309

+42%

Plastic & Rubber

+R 164

+4%

Precious Metals & Stones

+R 156

+34%

Textiles

-R 430

-12%

Vehicles & Transport Equipment

-R 763

-8%

Machinery & Electronics

-R 951

-4%

Original Equipment Components

-R1 105

-12%

Total

+R 895

88%

Total Movement

+R1 014

100%

Trade highlights by world zone

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

Africa:

Exports: R15 141 million – this is a decrease of R767 million from August 2017.
Imports: R7 170 million – this is an increase of R269 million from August 2017.

Trade Balance surplus: R7 971 million – this is a deterioration of R1 037 million in comparison to the R9 007 million surplus recorded in August 2017.


Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia and Swaziland (Only)

Trade statistics with the BLNS for September 2017 recorded a trade balance surplus of R8.31 billion. This is as a result of exports of R11.65 billion and imports of R3.34 billion.

Exports decreased from August 2017 to September 2017 by R0.17 billion (1.5%) and imports decreased from August 2017 to September 2017 by R0.65 billion (16.3%).

The cumulative surplus for 2017 is R68.81 billion compared to R79.32 billion in 2016.

Trade Highlights by Category

The main month-on-month export movements: R’ million

Section:

BLNS:

Machinery & Electronics

-R 82

-5%

Mineral Products

-R 57

-3%

Vegetable Products

-R 45

-9%

Chemical Products

-R 42

-4%

Vehicles & Transport Equipment

-R 41

-4%

Optical Photographic Products

-R 26

-17%

Precious Metals & Stones

+R 142

+18%

Total

-R 150

86%

Total Movement

-R 174

100%

 

The main month-on-month import movements: R’ million

Section:

BLNS:

Precious Metals & Stones

-R 385

-47%

Live Animals

-R 122

-23%

Prepared Foodstuff

-R 47

-10%

Miscellaneous Manufactured Articles

-R 45

-83%

Textiles

+R 46

+9%

Total

- R 553

85%

Total Movement

- R 652

100%

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