South Africa: Trade update, January-October 2020
2020 has been challenging for most countries. The same holds for South Africa. At the beginning of the year, South Africa's exports were set to outperform 2019. Between March and April, this trajectory changed. South Africa took stringent social distancing measures (lockdowns) - borders were closed, trade in non-essential goods halted, and most production activities came to a standstill. Subsequently, overall exports for 2020 under-performed. In contrast, imports have been on a downward trend since January.
This analysis reviews South Africa's trade for January to October 2020. For comparison, 2019 trade for corresponding months is included in the evaluation: i) Intra-Africa trade; ii) South Africa's trade with some countries outside Africa - EU27, China, United States, Japan, and India; and iii) South Africa's trade in covid-19 medical supplies.