Trade Data Analysis

South Africa-India – Ten year trading relationship

South Africa-India – Ten year trading relationship

Please login to access the files below.

This Trade Brief documents the trading relationship between South Africa and India from 2006 to 2015. The analysis uses UNCOMTRADE data sourced from the International Trade Centre (ITC) Trade Map, and is expressed in United States Dollars (in thousands, unless otherwise stated).


South Africa’s exports to the India peaked in 2014 at nearly US$3.8bn but fell by 22% to 2015 as the economic slowdown associated with the commodity price slump took effect. Despite the net decline to 2015, the top ranked export – coal-based solid fuels – actually increased by around 10% between 2014 and 2015. This indicates that not all markets and more specifically, not all fuel markets, have experienced lowered demand due to the commodity cycle.

South Africa’s second, third and fifth-ranked exports to India – metal scrap, iron ores and manganese ores – fell sharply from their peaks in 2012 but their volumes are dwarfed by the first ranked (and growing) export product group – coal based solid fuels.

South Africa does not face particularly punishing tariff rates for its top ten exports to India.

South Africa’s imports from India peaked in 2013 at nearly 5.4bn and then fell approximately 35% to 2015. Whilst SA’s exports to India are relatively concentrated, its imports are far less so. Its main import is non-crude based petroleum oil, followed by motor vehicles in second place and medication products in third. Interestingly, its second ranked import – motor vehicle products – faces a relatively high average tariff barrier at 23.5%.

Trade data spreadsheet

This synopsis should be read in conjunction with the data spreadsheet, and contains the following:

  • South Africa’s trade balance with India, sorted by product at HS4 aggregation;

  • South African imports from India, sorted by product at HS4 aggregation;

  • South African exports to India, sorted by product at HS4 aggregation;

  • Bilateral trade by product: the top 10 ranked HS4 export and import product classifications, disaggregated to HS6 level and ranked within category;

  • Tables for maximum (MFN) aggregate tariff levels for the top 10 ranked import and export product lines, aggregated to HS4 level and indicating number of tariff lines within the aggregation; and

  • Graphical illustrations of bilateral market access situation for each country’s top ten exports to the other country.


Synopsis: South Africa-India – Ten year trading relationship | November 2016 - Author(s): John Stuart
Spreadsheet: South Africa-India trade data | November 2016 - Author(s): John Stuart

* Registration to the tralac website is required in order to download these files. Registration is free of charge and for monitoring purposes only.