Building capacity to help Africa trade better

South Africa and India: The agricultural and fisheries trading relationship

Working Papers

South Africa and India: The agricultural and fisheries trading relationship

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SACU has recently begun serious negotiations with India with a view towards intensifying the trading relation between the two parties. India has become a major trading partner for South Africa, with exports valued at $1.35 billion destined for the sub-continent in 2007 (up some 72.8 percent from 2006). Fuels (including coal) were the main export, followed by inorganic chemicals. During 2007 India was the 9th main source of South African imports ($1.78 billion), with main imports again fuels and then vehicles. We caution that trade reconciliation shows that South African exports to India considerably understate Indian imports from its South African partner as gold transactions are not recorded as South African exports. Thus South African export data viewed in isolation does not give a true indication of the importance of India as a trading partner.

During the twelve months through to end of June 2007 agricultural imports were 3.2 percent of total Indian global imports, a figure down from the 7.3 percent during the comparable period to June 2000. By value, total agricultural imports were US$ six billion, with the main imports being palm oils, soybean oils and cashew nuts. India imported only some US$ 11.64 million in agricultural products from South Africa, and these imports represented just 0.4 percent of the global agricultural imports into India. The objective of this paper is to set this agricultural trading relationship in perspective. It details not only the South African agricultural trading patterns with India, but also that of most of the major competitor countries and regions who may present threats to South Africa/SACU should their negotiations for preferential access into India move ahead while South African efforts languish.

This agricultural paper will be duplicated by a similar paper examining the non-agricultural trading relationships and opportunities with India to be published shortly by tralac. Both have been compiled with help from analysts at the National Department of Agriculture (DoA), the National Agricultural Marketing Council (NAMC) and the Department of Trade and Industry (dti). tralac appreciates this valuable input and cooperation, and we hope that both publications will be of assistance to trade negotiators.

Readers are encouraged to quote and reproduce this material for educational, non-profit purposes, provided the source is acknowledged. All views and opinions expressed remain solely those of the authors and do not purport to reflect the views of tralac.


South Africa and India: The agricultural and fisheries trading relationship - Author(s): Ron Sandrey and Taku Fundira

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