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South Africa Merchandise Trade Statistics for October 2018

South Africa Merchandise Trade Statistics for October 2018
Photo credit: Anglo Gold Ashanti

30 Nov 2018

South Africa posts largest trade gap in 9 months

South Africa’s trade deficit widened to R5.55 billion in October of 2018 from a downwardly revised R3.83 billion in the previous month and compared with market expectations of a R2.25 billion shortfall. It was the largest trade gap since January, as imports rose faster than exports. Considering the first 10 months of the year, the country posted a R8.82 billion deficit.

Imports increased 9.7 percent month-over-month to R127.87 billion, mainly driven by higher purchases of vehicles and transport equipment (35 percent); chemical products (21 percent); original equipment components (11 percent); and machinery and electronics (8 percent). Meanwhile, imports declined for mineral products (-7 percent). Main import partners were: China (19.1 percent of total imports), Germany (9.1 percent), Saudi Arabia (6.7 percent), the US (5.7 percent) and Nigeria (4.9 percent).

Exports advanced 8.5 percent month-over-month to R122.32 billion, boosted by higher sales of mineral products (15 percent); vehicles and transport equipment (14 percent); prepared foodstuff (35 percent); and machinery and electronics (18 percent). On the other hand, exports dropped for vegetable products (-30 percent) and other unclassified (-59 percent). The most important export partners were: China (9.7 percent of total exports), Germany (9.4 percent), the US (6 percent), the UK (5.6 percent) and Japan (4.8 percent).

Excluding trade with neighboring Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia and eSwatini, the country recorded a trade gap of R12.97 billion in October.


The South African Revenue Service (SARS) today released trade statistics for October 2018 recording a trade deficit of R5.55 billion. These statistics include trade data with Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho and Namibia (BELN).

The year-to-date (01 January to 31 October 2018) trade deficit of R8.82 billion is a deterioration on the surplus for the comparable period in 2017 of R48.94 billion. Exports year-to-date increased by 6.6% whilst imports for the same period showed an increase of 13.3%.

Including trade data with Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho and Namibia (BELN)

The R5.55 billion trade deficit for October 2018 is attributable to exports of R122.32 billion and imports of R127.87 billion. Exports increased from September 2018 to October 2018 by R9.53 billion (8.5%) and imports increased from September 2018 to October 2018 by R11.26 billion (9.7%).

Exports for the year-to-date (01 January to 31 October) increased by 6.6% from R963.99 billion in 2017 to R1 027.94. billion in 2018. Imports for the year-to-date of R1 036.76 billion are 13.3% more than the imports recorded in January to October 2017 of R915.05 billion, leaving a cumulative trade deficit of R8.82 billion for 2018.

On a year-on-year basis, the R5.55 billion trade deficit for October 2018 is a deterioration from the surplus recorded in October 2017 of R4.18 billion. Exports of R122.32 billion are 17.8% more than the exports recorded in October 2017 of R103.83 billion. Imports of R127.87 billion are 28.3% more than the imports recorded in October 2017 of R99.65 billion.

September 2018’s trade deficit was revised downwards by R0.87 billion from the previous month’s preliminary deficit of R2.95 billion to a revised deficit of R3.83 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 BELN:
Mineral Products
+R3 727
+ 15%
Vehicles & Transport Equipment
+R2 175
+ 14%
Prepared Foodstuff
+R1 653
+ 35%
Machinery & Electronics
+R1 531
+ 18%
Precious Metals & Stones
+R1 297
+ 6%
Base Metals
+R 460
+ 4%
Other Unclassified
-R 455
- 59%
Vegetable Products
-R2 113
- 30%
Total
+ R8 275
87%
Total Movement
+ R9 532
100%
 

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

Section:
Including BELN:
Vehicles & Transport Equipment*
+R3 181*
+ 35%
Chemical Products
+R2 505
+ 21%
Machinery & Electronics
+R1 877
+ 8%
Original Equipment Components
+R1 024
+ 11%
Textiles
+R 964
+ 24%
Vegetable Products
+R 701
+ 43%
Base Metals
+R 578
+ 10%
Prepared Foodstuff
+R 410
+ 12%
Mineral Products
-R1 815
- 7%
Total
+R9 425
84%
Total Movement
+R11 255
100%

* The import trade numbers are over stated by R1.96 billion due to a BELN transaction that will be adjusted during the December trade statistics release.

Trade highlights by world zone

The world zone results from September 2018 (revised) to October 2018 are given below.

Africa:

Exports: R33 615 million – this is an increase of R 4 278 million from September 2018.
Imports: R18 746 million – this is an increase of R3 560 million from September 2018.

Trade surplus: R14 869 million – this is an improvement of R718 million in comparison to the R14 151 million surplus recorded in September 2018.

America:

Exports: R9 401 million – this is a decrease of R 387 million from September 2018.
Imports: R11 818 million – this is an increase of R 5 million from September 2018.

Trade deficit: R2 417 million – this is a deterioration of R 392 million in comparison to the R2 026 million deficit recorded in September 2018.

Asia:

Exports: R37 322 million – this is an increase of R2 756 million from September 2018.
Imports: R59 438 million – this is an increase of R4 822 million from September 2018.

Trade deficit: R22 116 million – this is a deterioration of R2 065 million in comparison to the R20 051 million deficit recorded in September 2018.

Europe:

Exports: R32 726 million – this is an increase of R 279 million from September 2018.
Imports: R35 127 million – this is an increase of R2 113 million from September 2018.

Trade deficit: R2 401 million – this is a deterioration of R1 834 million in comparison to the R 567 million deficit recorded in September 2018.

Oceania:

Exports: R1 168 million – this is an increase of R 93 million from September 2018.
Imports: R1 736 million – this is an increase of R 125 million from September 2018.

Trade deficit: R 568 million – this is a deterioration of R 31 million in comparison to the R 537 million deficit recorded in September 2018.


Excluding trade data with Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho and Namibia (BELN)

The trade data excluding BELN for October 2018 recorded a trade deficit of R12.97 billion. This was a result of exports of R108.61 billion and imports of R121.59 billion.

Exports increased from September 2018 to October 2018 by R8.06 billion (8.0%) and imports increased from September 2018 to October 2018 by R8.38 billion (7.4%).

The cumulative deficit for 2018 is R84.06 billion compared to R28.49 billion deficit in 2017.

Trade highlights by category

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

Section:
Excluding BELN:
Mineral Products
+R3 439
+ 15%
Vehicles & Transport Equipment
+R1 993
+ 14%
Precious Metals & Stones
+R1 557
+ 8%
Machinery & Electronics
+R1 388
+ 20%
Prepared Foodstuff
+R1 363
+ 40%
Other Unclassified
-R 461
- 60%
Vegetable Products
-R2 207
- 34%
Total
+R7 072
88%
Total Movement
+R8 056
100%
 

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

Section:
Excluding BELN:
Chemical Products
+R2 110
+ 19%
Machinery & Electronics
+R1 977
+ 8%
Vehicles & Transport Equipment
+R1 195
+ 13%
Original Equipment Components
+R1 024
+ 11%
Textiles
+R 783
+ 22%
Vegetable Products
+R 698
+ 44%
Base Metals
+R 532
+ 10%
Prepared Foodstuff
+R 363
+ 13%
Plastics & Rubber
+R 361
+ 7%
Mineral Products
-R1 834
- 7%
Total
+R7 209
86%

Total Movement

+R8 382

100%

Trade highlights by world zone

The world zone results for Africa excluding BELN from September 2018 (Revised) to October 2018 are given below.

Africa:

Exports: R19 905 million – this is an increase of R2 802 million from September 2018.
Imports: R12 460 million – this is an increase of R 687 million from September 2018.

Trade surplus: R7 445 million – this is an improvement of R2 115 million in comparison to the R5 330 million surplus recorded in September 2018.


Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho and Namibia (Only)

Trade statistics with the BELN for October 2018 recorded a trade surplus of R7.42 billion. This was a result of exports of R13.71 billion and imports of R6.29 billion.

Exports increased from September 2018 to October 2018 by R1.48 billion (12.1%) and imports increased from September 2018 to October 2018 by R2.87 billion (84.2%).

The cumulative surplus for 2018 is R75.24 billion compared to R77.42 billion in 2017.

Trade Highlights by Category

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

Section:
BELN:
Prepared Foodstuff
+R 290
+ 23%
Mineral Products
+R 288
+ 14%
Chemical Products
+R 245
+ 24%
Vehicles & Transport Equipment
+R 182
+ 19%
Machinery & Electronics
+R 143
+ 8%
Base Metals
+R 138
+ 18%
Textiles
+R 120
+ 22%
Misc Manufactured Articles
+R 105
+ 34%
Vegetable Products
+R 95
+ 18%
Plastics & Rubber
+R 76
+ 15%
Wood Pulp & Paper
-R 148
- 31%
Precious Metals & Stones
-R 261
- 25%
Total
+R1 273
86 %
Total Movement
+R1 476
100%
 

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

Section:
BELN:
Vehicles & Transport Equipment*
+R1 986*
+5 669%
Chemical Products
+R 395
+ 69%
Precious Metals & Stones
+R 276
+ 62%
Textiles
+R 181
+ 38%
Machinery & Electronics
-R 100
- 20%
Total
+R2 738
95%
Total Movement
+R2 873
100%

* The import trade numbers are over stated by R1.96 billion due to a transaction that will be adjusted during the December trade statistics release.

Source Trading Economics and SARS
Website Visit website
Date 30 Nov 2018
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