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South Africa Merchandise Trade Statistics for January 2018

South Africa Merchandise Trade Statistics for January 2018
Photo credit: Anglogold Ashanti

28 Feb 2018

South Africa’s trade deficit hits record high

South Africa’s trade balance shifted to a R27.7 billion deficit in January of 2018, compared to a downwardly revised R15.31 billion surplus in the previous month, and well below market expectations of a R5.0 billion deficit. It was the highest trade deficit on record. 

Exports declined 22.6 percent month-over-month to R80.5 billion in January, mainly due to decreases in precious metals and stones (-34 percent); mineral products (-21 percent); and vehicles and transport equipment (-47 percent). The most important export partners were: China (9.5 percent of total exports); the US (7.0 percent); Germany (5.9 percent); India (5.3 percent) and Japan (5.0 percent). 

Imports increased 18.3 percent month-over-month to R108.2 billion, with significant increases in original equipment components (139 percent); precious metals and stones (137 percent); and base metals (56 percent). Main import partners were: China (20.4 percent of total imports); Germany (9.5 percent); Saudi Arabia (6.8 percent); the US (5.0 percent) and India (4.2 percent).

Excluding trade with neighboring Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia and Swaziland (BLNS), the country posted a trade deficit of R33.8 billion in January, swinging from a R7.5 billion deficit in December 2017.


The South African Revenue Service (SARS) today releases trade statistics for January 2018 recording a trade balance deficit of R27.66 billion. These statistics include trade data with Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia and Swaziland (BLNS).

The year-to-date (01 January to 31 January 2018) trade balance deficit of R27.66 billion is a deterioration on the deficit for the comparable period in 2017 of R11.28 billion. Exports year-on-year grew by 0.5% whilst imports for the same period showed an increase of 18.3%.

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

The R27.66 billion trade balance deficit for January 2018 is attributable to exports of R80.51 billion and imports of R108.17 billion. Exports decreased from December 2017 to January 2018 by R23.52 billion (22.6%) and imports increased from December 2017 to January 2018 by R19.45 billion (21.9%).

On a year-on-year basis, the R27.66 billion trade balance deficit for January 2018 is a deterioration from the deficit recorded in January 2017 of R11.28 billion. Exports of R80.51 billion are 0.5% more than the exports recorded in January 2017 of R80.14 billion. Imports of R108.17 billion are 18.3% more than the imports recorded in January 2017 of R91.41 billion.

December 2017’s trade balance surplus was revised downwards by R0.41 billion from the previous month’s preliminary surplus of R15.72 billion to a revised surplus of R15.31 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:
Precious Metals & Stones
-R6 667
-34%
Mineral Products
-R5 907
-21%
Vehicles & Transport Equipment
-R5 023
-47%
Machinery & Electronics
-R1 610
-21%
Prepared Foodstuff
-R1 195
-27%
Total
-R20 402
87%

Total Movement

-R23 517

100%

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

Section:
Including BLNS:
Original Equipment Components
+R4 628
+139%
Mineral Products
+R3 497
+21%
Machinery & Electronics
+R2 206
+10%
Base Metals
+R2 008
+56%
Chemical Products
+R1 441
+15%
Plastics & Rubber
+R1 269
+32%
Precious Metals & Stones
+R1 204
+137%
Textiles
+R1 015
+39%
Total
+R17 268
89%

Total Movement

+R19 454

100%

Trade highlights by world zone

The world zone results from December 2017 (revised) to January 2018 are given below.

Africa:

Exports: R22 101 million – this is a decrease of R3 747 million from December 2017.
Imports: R12 798 million – this is an increase of R4 491 million from December 2017.

Trade Balance surplus: R9 303 million – this is a deterioration of R8 238 million in comparison to the R17 541 million surplus recorded in December 2017.

America:

Exports: R7 072 million – this is a decrease of R2 001 million from December 2017.
Imports: R9 301 million – this is a decrease of R 50 million from December 2017.

Trade Balance deficit: R2 229 million – this is a deterioration of R1 952 million in comparison to the R 277 million deficit recorded in December 2017.

Asia:

Exports: R26 583 million – this is a decrease of R10 695 million from December 2017.
Imports: R51 293 million – this is an increase of R9 081 million from December 2017.

Trade Balance deficit: R24 710 million – this is a deterioration of R19 776 million in comparison to the R4 934 million deficit recorded in December 2017.

Europe:

Exports: R17 040 million – this is a decrease of R5 563 million from December 2017.
Imports: R32 857 million – this is an increase of R5 848 million from December 2017.

Trade Balance deficit: R15 817 million – this is a deterioration of R11 412 million in comparison to the R4 405 million deficit recorded in December 2017.

Oceania:

Exports: R 639 million – this is a decrease of R 139 million from December 2017.
Imports: R1 693 million – this is an increase of R 125 million from December 2017.

Trade Balance deficit: R1 054 million – this is a deterioration of R 264 million in comparison to the R 790 million deficit recorded in December 2017.


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

The trade data excluding BLNS for January 2018 recorded a trade balance deficit of R33.84 billion. This was a result of exports of R71.42 billion and imports of R105.26 billion.

Exports decreased from December 2017 to January 2018 by R21.70 billion (23.3%) and imports increased from December 2017 to January 2018 by R19.25 billion (22.4%).

The cumulative deficit for 2018 is R33.84 billion compared to R17.72 billion deficit in 2017.

Trade highlights by category

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

Section:
Excluding BLNS:
Precious Metals & Stones
-R6 087
-32%
Mineral Products
-R5 792
-22%
Vehicles & Transport Equipment
-R4 993
-51%
Machinery & Electronics
-R1 546
-25%
Prepared Foodstuff
-R 929
-30%
Total
-R19 347
89%

Total Movement

-R21 702

100%

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

Section:
Excluding BLNS:
Original Equipment Components
+R4 628
+139%
Mineral Products
+R3 484
+20%
Machinery & Electronics
+R2 151
+10%
Base Metals
+R1 985
+56%
Chemical Products
+R1 672
+18%
Plastics & Rubber
+R1 257
+32%
Textiles
+R 969
+42%
Total
+R16 146
84%

Total Movement

+R19 255

100%

Trade highlights by world zone

The world zone results for Africa excluding BLNS from December 2017 (Revised) to January 2018 are given below.

Africa:

Exports: R13 020 million – this is a decrease of R1 932 million from December 2017.
Imports: R9 891 million – this is an increase of R4 292 million from December 2017.

Trade Balance surplus: R3 129 million – this is a deterioration of R6 224 million in comparison to the R9 353 million surplus recorded in December 2017.


Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia and Swaziland (Only)

Trade statistics with the BLNS for January 2018 recorded a trade balance surplus of R6.17 billion. This was a result of exports of R9.08 billion and imports of R2.91 billion.

Exports decreased from December 2017 to January 2018 by R1.81 billion (16.7%) and imports increased from December 2017 to January 2018 by R0.20 billion (7.4%).

The cumulative surplus for 2018 is R6.17 billion compared to R6.44 billion in 2017.

Trade Highlights by Category

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

Section:
BLNS:
Precious Metals & Stones
-R 581
- 93%
Prepared Foodstuff
-R 266
- 19%
Base Metals
-R 124
- 19%
Textiles
-R 115
- 23%
Mineral Products
-R 114
- 7%
Miscellaneous Manufactured Articles
-R 103
- 34%
Plastics & Rubber
-R 87
- 19%
Footwear & Accessories
-R 81
-43%
Total
-R1 471
81%

Total Movement

-R1 815

100%

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

Section:
BLNS:
Precious Metals & Stones
+R 429
+144%
Machinery & Electronics
+R 55
+ 35%
Textiles
+R 46
+ 14%
Live Animals
+R 44
+ 16%
Prepared Foodstuff
-R 156
- 32%
Chemical Products
-R 231
- 31%
Total
+R 187
94%

Total Movement

+R 199

100%

Source Trading Economics and SARS
Website Visit website
Date 28 Feb 2018
 
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