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South Africa Merchandise Trade Statistics for November 2018

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

16 Jan 2019

South Africa trade balance swings to surplus in November

South Africa’s trade balance shifted to a R3.49 billion surplus in November of 2018 from a downwardly revised R4.29 billion deficit in the previous month and beating market expectations of a R2.25 billion gap. Considering the January to November period, the country recorded a R4.16 billion shortfall. 

Imports dropped 8.4 percent month-over-month to R115.35 billion, mostly due to lower purchases of mineral products (-10 percent); chemical products (-9 percent); precious metals & stones (-56 percent); original equipment components (-23 percent) and vehicles & transport equipments (-9 percent). The most important import partners were: China (19.6 percent of total imports), Germany (9.5 percent), the US (6.4 percent), Saudi Arabia (4.8 percent) and Nigeria (3.9 percent).

Exports declined 2.3 percent month-over-month to R118.84 billion, mainly due to lower sales of vegetable products (-26 percent); prepared foodstuff (-9 percent) and vehicle & transport equipments (-13 percent). Meanwhile, sales increased for mineral products (2 percent) and chemicals (6 percent). Main export partners were: China (9.9 percent of total exports), Germany (8.5 percent), the US (7.0 percent), Japan (4.9 percent) and India (4.8 percent).

Excluding trade with neighbouring Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia and Swaziland, the country recorded a trade gap of R6.40 billion in November.


The South African Revenue Service (SARS) has released trade statistics for November 2018 recording a trade surplus of R3.49 billion. These statistics include trade data with Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho and Namibia (BELN).

The year-to-date (01 January to 30 November 2018) trade deficit of R4.16 billion is a deterioration on the surplus for the comparable period in 2017 of R62.29 billion. Exports year-to-date increased by 6.1% whilst imports for the same period showed an increase of 13.0%.

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

The R3.49 billion trade surplus for November 2018 is attributable to exports of R118.84 billion and imports of R115.35 billion. Exports decreased from October 2018 to November 2018 by R2.79 billion (2.3%) and imports decreased from October 2018 to November 2018 by R10.57 billion (8.4%).

Exports for the year-to-date (01 January to 30 November) increased by 6.1% from R1 080.48 billion in 2017 to R1 146.01 billion in 2018. Imports for the year-to-date of R1 150.17 billion are 13.0% more than the R1 018.18 billion imports recorded in January to November 2017, leaving a cumulative trade deficit of R4.16 billion for 2018.

On a year-on-year basis, the R3.49 billion trade surplus for November 2018 is a deterioration from the R13.38 billion surplus recorded in November 2017. Exports of R118.84 billion are 2.0% more than the R116.51 billion exports recorded in November 2017. Imports of R115.35 billion are 11.8% more than the R103.14 billion imports recorded in November 2017.

October 2018’s trade deficit was revised upwards by R1.26 billion from the previous month’s preliminary deficit of R5.55 billion to a revised deficit of R4.29 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:
Vehicles & Transport Equipment
-R2 200
- 13%
Vegetable Products
-R1 284
- 26%
Prepared Foodstuff
-R 513
- 9%
Base Metals
+R 300
+ 2%
Chemical Products
+R 397
+ 6%
Mineral Products
+R 602
+ 2%
Total
-R2 698
97%

Total Movement

-R2 787

100%

The main month-on-month import movements: R’ million
Section:
Including BELN:
Mineral Products
-R2 394
- 10%
Original Equipment Components
-R2 319
- 23%
Chemical Products
-R1 254
- 9%
Precious Metals & Stones
-R1 216
- 56%
Vehicles & Transport Equipment
-R 905
- 9%
Textiles
-R 633
- 13%
Footwear & Accessories
-R 510
- 31%
Total
-R9 231
87%

Total Movement

-R10 567

100%

Trade highlights by world zone

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

Africa:

Exports: R32 805 million – this is a decrease of R150 million from October 2018.
Imports: R16 815 million – this is an increase of R29 million from October 2018.

Trade surplus: R15 990 million – this is a deterioration of R179 million in comparison to the R16 168 million surplus recorded in October 2018.

America:

Exports: R10 340 million – this is an increase of R970 million from October 2018.
Imports: R11 298 million – this is a decrease of R521 million from October 2018.

Trade deficit: R958 million – this is an improvement of R1 491 million in comparison to the R2 449 million deficit recorded in October 2018.

Asia:

Exports: R38 240 million – this is an increase of R898 million from October 2018.
Imports: R49 811 million – this is a decrease of R9 616 million from October 2018.

Trade deficit: R11 571 million – this is an improvement of R10 514 million in comparison to the R22 085 million deficit recorded in October 2018.

Europe:

Exports: R28 476 million – this is a decrease of R4 232 million from October 2018.
Imports: R34 594 million – this is a decrease of R534 million from October 2018.

Trade deficit: R6 118 million – this is a deterioration of R3 698 million in comparison to the R2 419 million deficit recorded in October 2018.

Oceania:

Exports: R1 488 million – this is an increase of R324 million from October 2018.
Imports: R2 501 million – this is an increase of R754 million from October 2018.

Trade deficit: R1 013 million – this is a deterioration of R429 million in comparison to the R584 million deficit recorded in October 2018.


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

The trade data excluding BELN for November 2018 recorded a trade deficit of R6.40 billion. This was a result of exports of R104.67 billion and imports of R111.07 billion.

Exports decreased from October 2018 to November 2018 by R3.26 billion (3.0%) and imports decreased from October 2018 to November 2018 by R10.52 billion (8.7%).

The cumulative deficit for 2018 is R91.23 billion compared to R24.23 billion deficit in 2017.

Trade highlights by category

The main month-on-month export movements: R’ million
Section:
Excluding BELN:
Vehicles & Transport Equipment
-R2 372
- 15%
Vegetable Products
-R1 337
- 31%
Prepared Foodstuff
-R 645
- 15%
Base Metals
+R 250
+ 2%
Chemical Products
+R 390
+ 7%
Mineral Products
+R 674
+ 3%
Total
-R3 040
93%

Total Movement

-R3 261

100%

The main month-on-month import movements: R’ million
Section:
Excluding BELN:
Mineral Products
-R2 412
- 10%
Original Equipment Components
-R2 319
- 23%
Chemical Products
-R1 190
- 9%
Precious Metals & Stones
-R1 029
- 70%
Vehicles & Transport Equipment
-R 920
- 9%
Textiles
-R 703
- 16%
Total
-R8 573
81%

Total Movement

-R10 522

100%

Trade highlights by world zone

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

Africa:

Exports: R18 627 million – this is a decrease of R624 million from October 2018.
Imports: R12 534 million – this is an increase of R74 million from October 2018.

Trade surplus: R6 093 million – this is a deterioration of R698 million in comparison to the R6 791 million surplus recorded in October 2018.


Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho and Namibia (Only)

Trade statistics with the BELN for November 2018 recorded a trade surplus of R9.90 billion. This was a result of exports of R14.18 billion and imports of R4.28 billion.

Exports increased from October 2018 to November 2018 by R0.47 billion (3.5%) and imports decreased from October 2018 to November 2018 by R0.04 billion (1.0%).

The cumulative surplus for 2018 is R87.07 billion compared to R86.53 billion in 2017.

Trade Highlights by Category

The main month-on-month export movements: R’ million
Section:
BELN:
Vehicles & Transport Equipment
+R 172
+ 15%
Machinery & Electronics
+R 140
+ 8%
Prepared Foodstuff
+R 132
+ 9%
Vegetable Products
+R 53
+ 8%
Base Metals
+R 50
+ 5%
Plastics & Rubber
+R 36
+ 6%
Wood Pulp & Paper
+R 33
+ 10%
Animal/Vegetable Fats
+R 31
+ 25%
Textiles
+R 30
+ 5%
Mineral Products
-R 72
- 3%
Precious Metals & Stones
-R 189
- 24%
Total
+R 416
88%

Total Movement

+R 474

100%

The main month-on-month import movements: R’ million
Section:
BELN:
Precious Metals & Stones
-R 187
- 26%
Chemical Products
-R 63
- 7%
Wood & Articles Thereof
+R 9
+ 6%
Live Animals
+R 14
+ 4%
Vehicles & Transport Equipment
+R 15
+ 25%
Mineral Products
+R 18
+ 25%
Machinery & Electronics
+R 30
+ 8%
Prepared Foodstuff
+R 58
+ 10%
Textiles
+R 70
+ 11%
Total
-R 36
80%
Total Movement
-R 45
100%
Source Trading Economics and SARS
Website Visit website
Date 16 Jan 2019
 
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