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SARS releases merchandise trade statistics for April 2020

SARS releases merchandise trade statistics for April 2020

29 May 2020

The South African Revenue Service (SARS) today released trade statistics for April 2020 recording a trade deficit of R35.02 billion. These statistics include trade data with Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho and Namibia (BELN).

The year-to-date (01 January to 30 April 2020) trade deficit of R0.33 billion is an improvement from the R8.87 billion deficit for the comparable period in 2019. Exports decreased by 3.5% year-on-year whilst imports deteriorated by 5.5% over the same period.

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

The R35.02 billion trade deficit for April 2020 is attributable to exports of R53.01 billion and imports of R88.03 billion. Exports decreased from March 2020 to April 2020 by R65.06 billion (55.1%) and imports decreased from March 2020 to April 2020 by R6.11 billion (6.5%).

Exports for the year-to-date (01 January to 30 April 2020) decreased by 3.5% from R394.72 billion in 2019 to R381.08 billion in 2020. Imports for the year-to-date of R381.41 billion are 5.5% less than the R403.58 billion imports recorded during the same period in 2019. The cumulative trade deficit for 2020 is R0.33 billion.

On a year-on-year basis, the R35.02 billion trade deficit for April 2020 is a deterioration from the R3.56 billion deficit recorded in April 2019. Exports of R53.01 billion are 48.8% less than the R103.45 billion exports recorded in April 2019. Imports of R88.03 billion are 17.7% less than the R107.01 billion imports recorded in April 2019.

March 2020’s trade surplus was revised downwards by R0.31 billion. Due to the ongoing Vouchers of Correction (VOC’s), the revision was from the preliminary surplus of R24.25 billion to the revised surplus of R23.94 billion.

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

The trade data excluding BELN for April 2020 recorded a trade deficit of R37.42 billion. This deficit is a result of exports of R48.60 billion and imports of R86.02 billion.

Exports decreased from March 2020 to April 2020 by R57.45 billion (54.2%) and imports decreased by R4.48 billion (4.9%) over the same period. The cumulative deficit for 2020 is R25.52 billion compared to R38.29 billion deficit in 2019.

Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho and Namibia (Only)

Trade statistics with the BELN countries for April 2020 recorded a trade surplus of R2.41 billion. This surplus is a result of exports of R4.41 billion and imports of R2.01 billion.

Exports decreased from March 2020 to April 2020 by R7.61 billion (63.3%) and imports decreased from March 2020 to April 2020 by R1.63 billion (44.8%). The cumulative surplus for 2020 is R25.19 billion compared to R29.43 billion in 2019.

Source SARS
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Date 29 May 2020
 
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