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South Africa Merchandise Trade Statistics for May 2018

South Africa Merchandise Trade Statistics for May 2018
Photo credit: IOL | Waldo Swiegers

02 Jul 2018

South Africa’s trade surplus widens in May

South Africa’s trade surplus increased to R3.52 billion from aun upwardly revised R1.17 billion in the previous month and below market expectations of a R5.9 billion surplus. Considering the January to May period, the country posted a trade deficit of R17.77 billion.

Exports jumped 16.0 percent month-over-month to R102.6 billion in May of 2018, boosted by vegetable products (56 percent); prepared foodstuff (32 percent); vehicles and transport equipment (29 percent); chemicals (28 percent) and mineral products (11 percent). Main export partners were: China (9.4 percent of total exports), Germany (7.7 percent), the US (6.6 percent), the UK (5.4 percent) and India (5.3 percent).

Imports advanced 13.5 percent month-over-month to R99.1 billion, driven by higher purchases of vegetable products (135 percent); vehicle and transport equipment (26 percent); base metals (25 percent); original equipments components (15 percent) and machinery and electronics (9 percent). The most important import partners were: China (18.8 percent of total imports), Germany (10.1 percent), the US (5.7 percent), Nigeria (4.8 percent) and India (4.2 percent).

Excluding trade with neighboring Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia and Swaziland, the country recorded a trade deficit of R4.65 billion in May.


The South African Revenue Service (SARS) has released trade statistics for May 2018 recording a trade balance surplus of R3.52 billion. These statistics include trade data with Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia and Swaziland (BLNS).

The year-to-date (01 January to 31 May 2018) trade balance deficit of R14.18 billion is a deterioration on the surplus for the comparable period in 2017 of R16.41 billion. Exports year-to-date decreased by 0.4% whilst imports for the same period showed an increase of 6.4%.

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

The R3.52 billion trade balance surplus for May 2018 is attributable to exports of R102.61 billion and imports of R99.09 billion. Exports increased from April 2018 to May 2018 by R14.15 billion (16.0%) and imports increased from April 2018 to May 2018 by R11.80 billion (13.5%).

Exports for the year-to-date (01 January to 31 May) decreased by 0.4% from R461.52 billion in 2017 to R459.58 billion in 2018. Imports for the year-to-date of R473.76 billion are 6.4% more than the imports recorded in January to May 2017 of R445.11 billion, leaving a cumulative trade balance deficit of R14.18 billion for 2018.

On a year-on-year basis, the R3.52 billion trade balance surplus for May 2018 is a deterioration from the surplus recorded in May 2017 of R7.89 billion. Exports of R102.61 billion are 0.8% less than the exports recorded in May 2017 of R103.39 billion. Imports of R99.09 billion are 3.8% more than the imports recorded in May 2017 of R95.50 billion.

April 2018’s trade balance surplus was revised upwards by R0.26 billion from the previous month’s preliminary surplus of R1.14 billion to a revised surplus of R1.17 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 671
+29%
Vegetable Products
+R2 390
+56%
Mineral Products
+R2 342
+11%
Chemical Products
+R1 507
+28%
Prepared Foodstuff
+R1 124
+32%
Machinery & Electronics
+R1 052
+14%
Base Metals
+R 896
+8%
Total
+R11 982
85%

Total Movement

+R14 155

100%

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

Section:
Including BLNS:
Vehicles & Transport Equipment
+R1 938
+26%
Machinery & Electronics
+R1 857
+9%
Vegetable Products
+R1 713
+135%
Original Equipment Components
+R1 066
+15%
Base Metals
+R1 007
+25%
Chemical Products
+R 707
+7%
Precious Metals & Stones
+R 605
+60%
Textiles
+R 587
+20%
Miscellaneous Manufactured Articles
+R 537
+46%
Wood Pulp & Paper
+R 513
+21%
Works of Art
-R 142
-72%
Total
+R10 388
88%

Total Movement

+R11 804

100%

Trade highlights by world zone

The world zone results from April 2018 (revised) to May 2018 are given below.

Africa:

Exports: R27 670 million – this is an increase of R3 530 million from April 2018.
Imports: R12 066 million – this is an increase of R 643 million from April 2018.

Trade Balance surplus: R15 604 million – this is an improvement of R2 887 million in comparison to the R12 717 million surplus recorded in April 2018.

America:

Exports: R8 774 million – this is an increase of R1 429 million from April 2018.
Imports: R9 594 million – this is an increase of R 774 million from April 2018.

Trade Balance deficit: R 820 million – this is an improvement of R 655 million in comparison to the R1 475 million deficit recorded in April 2018.

Asia:

Exports: R32 620 million – this is an increase of R4 352 million from April 2018.
Imports: R43 207 million – this is an increase of R4 804 million from April 2018.

Trade Balance deficit: R10 587 million – this is a deterioration of R 453 million in comparison to the R10 134 million deficit recorded in April 2018.

Europe:

Exports: R27 057 million – this is an increase of R5 732 million from April 2018.
Imports: R31 306 million – this is an increase of R3 844 million from April 2018.

Trade Balance deficit: R4 249 million – this is an improvement of R1 888 million in comparison to the R6 137 million deficit recorded in April 2018.

Oceania:

Exports: R 734 million – this is a decrease of R 108 million from April 2018.
Imports: R1 965 million – this is an increase of R 928 million from April 2018.

Trade Balance deficit: R1 231 million – this is a deterioration of R1 036 million in comparison to the R 195 million deficit recorded in April 2018.


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

The trade data excluding BLNS for May 2018 recorded a trade balance deficit of R4.65 billion. This was a result of exports of R91.43 billion and imports of R96.08 billion.

Exports increased from April 2018 to May 2018 by R13.21 billion (16.9%) and imports increased from April 2018 to May 2018 by R11.70 billion (13.9%).

The cumulative deficit for 2018 is R50.43 billion compared to R18.29 billion deficit in 2017.

Trade highlights by category

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

Section:
Excluding BLNS:
Vehicles & Transport Equipment
+R2 523
+31%
Vegetable Products
+R2 357
+63%
Mineral Products
+R2 108
+10%
Chemical Products
+R1 318
+29%
Prepared Foodstuff
+R 928
+37%
Machinery & Electronics
+R 897
+15%
Base Metals
+R 835
+ 8%
Other Unclassified
-R 70
-18%
Total
+R10 896
82%

Total Movement

+R13 209

100%

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

Section:
Excluding BLNS:
Vehicles & Transport Equipment
+R1 951
+26%
Machinery & Electronics
+R1 740
+ 9%
Vegetable Products
+R1 710
+138%
Original Equipment Components
+R1 066
+15%
Base Metals
+R1 020
+26%
Precious Metals & Stones
+R 663
+128%
Chemical Products
+R 643
+ 7%
Textiles
+R 584
+24%
Miscellaneous Manufactured Articles
+R 534
+46%
Wood Pulp & Paper
+R 511
+21%
Works of Art
-R 142
-72%
Total
+R10 280
88%

Total Movement

+R11 698

100%

Trade highlights by world zone

The world zone results for Africa excluding BLNS from April 2018 (Revised) to May 2018 are given below.

Africa:

Exports: R16 495 million – this is an increase of R2 584 million from April 2018.
Imports: R9 058 million – this is an increase of R 537 million from April 2018.

Trade Balance surplus: R7 437 million – this is an improvement of R2 047 million in comparison to the R5 390 million surplus recorded in April 2018.


Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia and Swaziland (Only)

Trade statistics with the BLNS for May 2018 recorded a trade balance surplus of R8.17 billion. This was a result of exports of R11.18 billion and imports of R3.01 billion.

Exports increased from April 2018 to May 2018 by R0.95 billion (9.3%) and imports increased from April 2018 to May 2018 by R0.11 billion (3.7%).

The cumulative surplus for 2018 is R36.25 billion compared to R34.70 billion in 2017.

Trade Highlights by Category

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

Section:
BLNS:
Mineral Products
+R 234
+ 19%
Prepared Foodstuff
+R 196
+ 15%
Chemical Products
+R 189
+ 21%
Machinery & Electronics
+R 155
+ 11%
Vehicles & Transport Equipment
+R 148
+ 15%
Base Metals
+R 61
+ 8%
Textiles
+R 34
+ 6%
Plastics & Rubber
+R 34
+ 8%
Precious Metals & Stones
-R 262
- 45%
Total
+R 789
83%

Total Movement

+R 946

100%

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

Section:
BLNS:
Machinery & Electronics
+R 117
+ 49%
Chemical Products
+R 63
+ 15%
Wood & Articles Thereof
+R 31
+ 29%
Vehicles & Transport Equipment
-R 13
- 27%
Base Metals
-R 13
- 12%
Prepared Foodstuff
-R 27
- 6%
Precious Metals & Stones
-R 58
- 12%
Total
+R 100
94%

Total Movement

+R 106

100%

Source Trading Economics and SARS
Website Visit website
Date 02 Jul 2018
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