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South Africa Merchandise Trade Statistics for October 2017

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

01 Dec 2017

South Africa trade surplus widens slightly in October

South Africa’s trade surplus increased to R4.56 billion in October of 2017 from an upwardly revised R4.48 billion surplus in September, and above market expectations of a R1.00 billion deficit. Exports increased 2.2 percent and imports went up 2.3 percent. Considering the January to October period, exports increased 6.6 percent and imports decreased 0.2 percent, shifting the countrys trade balance into a R51.62 billion surplus from a R9.9 billion gap in the same period of 2016. 

Compared with the previous month, exports increased to R104.5 billion, led by mineral products (12 percent); base metals (13 percent); chemical products (20 percent), machinery and electronics (7 percent); prepared foodstuff (8 percent); textiles (16 percent), while vehicles and transport equipment (-8 percent) and vegetable goods (-44 percent) fell. Major destinations for sales were China (11.0 percent); the US (7.3 percent); India (5.9 percent); Germany (5.7 percent); and Namibia (4.6 percent).

Imports advanced to R99.9 billion, due to higher purchases of machinery and electronics (14 percent); wood pulp and paper (56 percent); precious metals and stones (69 percent), chemicals (7 percent) and original equipment components (7 percent). Imports came mostly from China (20.2 percent of total imports); Germany (11.2 percent); the US (5.6 percent); India (4.7 percent) and Saudi Arabia (4.6 percent).

Excluding trade with neighboring Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia and Swaziland, the country posted a trade deficit of R4.2 billion in October compared to a R3.8 billion gap in September.


The South African Revenue Service (SARS) has released trade statistics for October 2017 recording a trade balance surplus of R4.56 billion. These statistics include trade data with Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia and Swaziland (BLNS).

The year-to-date (01 January to 31 October 2017) trade balance surplus of R51.62 billion is an improvement on the deficit for the comparable period in 2016 of R9.93 billion. Exports for the year-to-date grew by 6.6% whilst imports for the same period declined by 0.2%.

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

The R4.56 billion trade balance surplus for October 2017 is attributable to exports of R104.51 billion and imports of R99.95 billion. Exports increased from September 2017 to October 2017 by R2.29 billion (2.2%) and imports increased from September 2017 to October 2017 by R2.21 billion (2.3%).

Exports for the year-to-date (01 January to 31 October 2017) grew by 6.6% from R907.36 billion in 2016 to R966.99 billion in 2017. Imports for the year-to-date of R915.36 billion are 0.2% less than the imports recorded in January to October 2016 of R917.29 billion, leaving a cumulative trade balance surplus of R51.62 billion for 2017.

On a year-on-year basis, the R4.56 billion trade balance surplus for October 2017 is an improvement from the deficit recorded in October 2016 of R3.21 billion. Exports of R104.51 billion are 17.7% more than the exports recorded in October 2016 of R88.83 billion. Imports of R99.95 billion are 8.6% more than the imports recorded in October 2016 of R92.04 billion.

September 2017’s trade balance surplus was revised upwards by R0.48 billion from the previous month’s preliminary surplus of R4.00 billion to a revised surplus of R4.48 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:
Mineral Products
+R3 122
+ 12%
Base Metals
+R1 344
+ 13%
Chemical Products
+R1 100
+ 20%
Machinery & Electronics
+R 595
+ 7%
Prepared Foodstuff
+R 354
+ 8%
Textiles
+R 246
+ 16%
Precious Metals & Stones
-R 898
- 5%
Vehicles & Transport Equipment
-R1 118
- 8%
Vegetable Products
-R2 897
- 44%
Total
+R1 848
81%

Total Movement

+R2 288

100%

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

Section:
Including BLNS:
Machinery & Electronics
+R3 041
+14%
Wood Pulp & Paper
+R 777
+56%
Precious Metals & Stones
+R 728
+69%
Chemical Products
+R 723
+ 7%
Original Equipment Components
+R 579
+ 7%
Vegetable Products
-R1 704
- 50%
Mineral Products
-R2 182
- 15%
Total
+R1 962
89%

Total Movement

+R2 209

100%

Trade highlights by world zone

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

Africa:

Exports: R28 100 million – this is an increase of R1 399 million from September 2017.
Imports: R9 743 million – this is a decrease of R 769 million from September 2017.

Trade Balance surplus: R18 357 million – this is an improvement of R2 168 million in comparison to the R16 189 million surplus recorded in September 2017.

America:

Exports: R9 405 million – this is a decrease of R 514 million from September 2017.
Imports: R9 825 million – this is a decrease of R 723 million from September 2017.

Trade Balance deficit: R 420 million – this is an improvement of R 209 million in comparison to the R 629 million deficit recorded in September 2017.

Asia:

Exports: R35 075 million – this is a decrease of R1 075 million from September 2017.
Imports: R46 590 million – this is an increase of R3 403 million from September 2017.

Trade Balance deficit: R11 515 million – this is a deterioration of R4 477 million in comparison to the R7 038 million deficit recorded in September 2017.

Europe:

Exports: R23 289 million – this is an increase of R 248 million from September 2017.
Imports: R31 853 million – this is an increase of R 8 million from September 2017.

Trade Balance deficit: R8 564 million – this is an improvement of R 240 million in comparison to the R8 804 million deficit recorded in September 2017.

Oceania:

Exports: R1 080 million – this is a decrease of R 312 million from September 2017.
Imports: R1 438 million – this is an increase of R 43 million from September 2017.

Trade Balance deficit: R 358 million – this is a deterioration of R 356 million in comparison to the R 2 million deficit recorded in September 2017.


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

The trade data excluding BLNS for October 2017 recorded a trade balance deficit of R4.19 billion. This was a result of exports of R91.76 billion and imports of R95.95 billion.

Exports increased from September 2017 to October 2017 by R1.19 billion (1.3%) and imports increased from September 2017 to October 2017 by R1.56 billion (1.6%).

The cumulative deficit for 2017 is R25.90 billion compared to R98.75 billion deficit in 2016.

Trade highlights by category

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

Section:
Excluding BLNS:
Mineral Products
+R2 975
+12%
Base Metals
+R1 245
+13%
Chemical Products
+R 883
+19%
Machinery & Electronics
+R 352
+ 5%
Prepared Foodstuff
+R 214
+ 7%
Textiles
+R 161
+18%
Precious Metals & Stones
-R 584
- 4%
Vehicles & Transport Equipment
-R1 233
-10%
Vegetable Products
-R2 952
-49%
Total
+R1 062
89%

Total Movement

+R1 193

100%

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

Section:
Excluding BLNS:
Machinery & Electronics
+R3 022
+14%
Wood Pulp & Paper
+R 770
+57%
Original Equipment Components
+R 579
+ 7%
Precious Metals & Stones
+R 516
+84%
Chemical Products
+R 503
+ 5%
Vegetable Products
-R1 708
-50%
Mineral Products
-R2 188
-15%
Total
+R1 494
96%

Total Movement

+R1 556

100%

Trade highlights by world zone

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

Africa:

Exports: R15 355 million – this is an increase of R 304 million from September 2017.
Imports: R5 751 million – this is a decrease of R1 422 million from September 2017.

Trade Balance surplus: R9 603 million – this is an improvement of R1 725 million in comparison to the R7 878 million surplus recorded in September 2017.


Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia and Swaziland (Only)

Trade statistics with the BLNS for October 2017 recorded a trade balance surplus of R8.75 billion. This was a result of exports of R12.74 billion and imports of R3.99 billion.

Exports increased from September 2017 to October 2017 by R1.1 billion (9.4%) and imports increased from September 2017 to October 2017 by R0.65 billion (19.5%).

The cumulative surplus for 2017 is R77.53 billion compared to R88.82 billion in 2016.

Trade Highlights by Category

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

Section:
BLNS:
Machinery & Electronics
+R 242
+15%
Chemical Products
+R 217
+21%
Mineral Products
+R 146
+9%
Prepared Foodstuff
+R 140
+11%
Vehicles & Transport Equipment
+R 115
+11%
Base Metals
+R 100
+13%
Textiles
+R 84
+14%
Miscellaneous Manufactured Articles
+R 67
+22%
Vegetable Products
+R 56
+12%
Footwear & Accessories
+R 55
+29%
Precious Metals & Stones
-R 315
-34%
Total
+R 907
83%

Total Movement

+R1 095

100%

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

Section:
BLNS:
Chemical Products
+R 220
+30%
Precious Metals & Stones
+R 212
+48%
Textiles
+R 132
+23%
Prepared Foodstuff
+R 62
+14%
Live Animals
-R 49
-12%
Total
+R 577
88%
Total Movement
+R 653
100%
Source Trading Economics and SARS
Website Visit website
Date 01 Dec 2017
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