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South Africa Merchandise Trade Statistics for December 2017

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

31 Jan 2018

South Africa’s trade surplus widens in December

South Africa’s trade surplus increased to R15.72 billion in December of 2017 from an upwardly revised R13.05 billion in the previous month, and above market expectations of a R10.05 billion surplus. It is the highest trade surplus since May of 2016.

Exports decreased 10.2 percent month-over-month to R104.3 billion in December of 2017, namely vehicles and transport equipment (-23 percent); machinery and electronics (-21 percent); base metals (-14 percent) and mineral products (-12 percent). In contrast, sales of vegetables jumped 31 percent. Main export partners were: China (11.6 percent of total exports); the US (7.1 percent); Germany (6.0 percent); India (5.4 percent) and the UK (4.3 percent).

Imports declined 14.1 percent month-over-month to R88.6 billion, mainly original equipment components (-58% of total imports); base metals (-30 percent); chemicals (-18 percent) and machinery and electronics (-15 percent). On the other hand, purchases of mineral products went up 23 percent. The most important import partners were: China (18.9 percent of total imports); Germany (7.9 percent); the US (6.4 percent); Oman (5.5 percent) and India (5.0 percent).

Considering the January to December period, exports went up 7.9 percent and imports rose a meager 0.7 percent, widening the country’s trade surplus to R80.55 billion surplus from a R1.05 billion in 2016.


The South African Revenue Service (SARS) today released trade statistics for December 2017 recording a trade balance surplus of R15.72 billion. These statistics include trade data with Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia and Swaziland (BLNS).

The year-to-date (01 January to 31 December 2017) trade balance surplus of R80.55 billion is an improvement on the surplus for the comparable period in 2016 of R1.05 billion. Exports for the year-to-date grew by 7.9% whilst imports for the same period showed an increase of 0.7%.

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

The R15.72 billion trade balance surplus for December 2017 is attributable to exports of R104.32 billion and imports of R88.60 billion. Exports decreased from November 2017 to December 2017 by R11.87 billion (10.2%) and imports decreased from November 2017 to December 2017 by R14.54 billion (14.1%).

Exports for the year-to-date (01 January to 31 December 2017) grew by 7.9% from R1 100.32 billion in 2016 to R1 187.45 billion in 2017. Imports for the year-to-date of R1 106.90 billion are 0.7% more than the imports recorded in January to December 2016 of R1 099.27 billion, leaving a cumulative trade balance surplus of R80.55 billion for 2017.

On a year-on-year basis, the R15.72 billion trade balance surplus for December 2017 is an improvement from the surplus recorded in December 2016 of R12.27 billion. Exports of R104.32 billion are 11.5% more than the exports recorded in December 2016 of R93.52 billion. Imports of R88.60 billion are 9.0% more than the imports recorded in December 2016 of R81.25 billion.

November 2017’s trade balance surplus was revised upwards by R0.03 billion from the previous month’s preliminary surplus of R13.02 billion to a revised surplus of R13.05 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 655
-12%
Vehicles & Transport Equipment
-R3 272
-23%
Machinery & Electronics
-R2 083
-21%
Base Metals
-R1 953
-14%
Prepared Foodstuff
-R 854
-16%
Vegetable Products
+R 988
+31%
Total
-R10 829
91%

Total Movement

-R11 866

100%

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

Section:

Including BLNS:

Original Equipment Components
-R4 682
-58%
Machinery & Electronics
-R3 819
-15%
Chemical Products
-R2 172
-18%
Base Metals
-R1 535
-30%
Textiles
-R1 300
-33%
Plastics & Rubber
-R 665
-14%
Vehicles & Transport Equipment
-R 643
- 7%
Precious Metals & Stones
-R 598
-40%
Animal & Vegetable Fats
-R 596
-49%
Mineral Products
+R3 162
+23%
Total
-R12 848
88%

Total Movement

-R14 537

100%

Trade highlights by world zone

The world zone results from November 2017 (revised) to December 2017 are given below.

Africa:

Exports: R25 937 million – this is a decrease of R4 924 million from November 2017.
Imports: R8 307 million – this is a decrease of R1 852 million from November 2017.

Trade Balance surplus: R17 630 million – this is a deterioration of R3 072 million in comparison to the R20 702 million surplus recorded in November 2017.

America:

Exports: R9 170 million – this is a decrease of R3 420 million from November 2017.
Imports: R9 358 million – this is a decrease of R 140 million from November 2017.

Trade Balance deficit: R 188 million – this is a deterioration of R3 280 million in comparison to the R3 092 million surplus recorded in November 2017.

Asia:

Exports: R37 364 million – this is a decrease of R1 637 million from November 2017.
Imports: R42 082 million – this is a decrease of R4 396 million from November 2017.

Trade Balance deficit: R4 718 million – this is an improvement of R2 758 million in comparison to the R7 476 million deficit recorded in November 2017.

Europe:

Exports: R22 630 million – this is a decrease of R 715 million from November 2017.
Imports: R27 010 million – this is a decrease of R7 527 million from November 2017.

Trade Balance deficit: R4 380 million – this is an improvement of R6 813 million in comparison to the R11 193 million deficit recorded in November 2017.

Oceania:

Exports: R 776 million – this is a decrease of R 712 million from November 2017.
Imports: R1 568 million – this is a decrease of R 534 million from November 2017.

Trade Balance deficit: R 792 million – this is a deterioration of R 178 million in comparison to the R 614 million deficit recorded in November 2017.


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

The trade data excluding BLNS for December 2017 recorded a trade balance surplus of R7.51 billion. This was a result of exports of R93.40 billion and imports of R85.89 billion.

Exports decreased from November 2017 to December 2017 by R9.40 billion (9.1%) and imports decreased from November 2017 to December 2017 by R13.00 billion (13.1%).

The cumulative deficit for 2017 is R14.28 billion compared to R105.76 billion deficit in 2016.

Trade highlights by category

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

Section:

Excluding BLNS:

Mineral Products
-R3 520
-12%
Vehicles & Transport Equipment
-R3 008
-23%
Base Metals
-R1 686
-13%
Machinery & Electronics
-R1 563
-20%
Vegetable Products
+R1 018
+40%
Total
-R8 759
93%

Total Movement

-R9 402

100%

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

Section:

Excluding BLNS:

Original Equipment Components
-R4 682
-58%
Machinery & Electronics
-R3 613
-14%
Chemical Products
-R2 076
-19%
Base Metals
-R1 489
-30%
Textiles
-R 910
-29%
Vehicles & Transport Equipment
-R 655
- 7%
Plastics & Rubber
-R 639
-14%
Animal & Vegetable Fats
-R 595
-49%
Mineral Products
+R3 189
+23%
Total
-R11 470
88%

Total Movement

-R13 003

100%

Trade highlights by world zone

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

Africa:

Exports: R15 014 million – this is a decrease of R2 460 million from November 2017.
Imports: R5 599 million – this is a decrease of R 318 million from November 2017.

Trade Balance surplus: R9 415 million – this is a deterioration of R2 142 million in comparison to the R11 557 million surplus recorded in November 2017.


Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia and Swaziland (Only)

Trade statistics with the BLNS for December 2017 recorded a trade balance surplus of R8.22 billion. This was a result of exports of R10.92 billion and imports of R2.70 billion.

Exports decreased from November 2017 to December 2017 by R2.46 billion (18.4%) and imports decreased from November 2017 to December 2017 by R1.53 billion (36.2%).

The cumulative surplus for 2017 is R94.83 billion compared to R106.80 billion in 2016.

Trade Highlights by Category

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

Section:

BLNS:

Machinery & Electronics
-R 520
- 26%
Chemical Products
-R 293
- 23%
Base Metals
-R 267
- 29%
Vehicles & Transport Equipment
-R 263
- 22%
Prepared Foodstuff
-R 215
- 14%
Textiles
-R 212
- 30%
Plastics & Rubber
-R 145
- 24%
Mineral Products
-R 136
- 7%
Miscellaneous Manufactured Articles
-R 125
- 29%
Precious Metals & Stones
+R 47
+ 8%
Total
-R 2 129
86%

Total Movement

-R 2 464

100%

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

Section:

BLNS:

Precious Metals & Stones
-R 584
- 66%
Textiles
-R 389
- 54%
Machinery & Electronics
-R 206
- 57%
Chemical Products
-R 96
- 11%
Prepared Foodstuff
-R 59
- 11%
Vehicles & Transport Equipment
+R 13
+ 25%
Total
-R1 321
86%

Total Movement

-R1 534

100%

Source Trading Economics and SARS
Website Visit website
Date 31 Jan 2018
 
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