Trade Data Analysis

South Africa’s trade with Egypt

South Africa’s trade with Egypt

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This Trade Update provides a snapshot of South Africa’s trading relationship with Egypt. The aim is to give an idea of South Africa’s trade relations with Egypt, and the major products or sectors that South Africa is trading in.

All data is sourced from the United Nations (UN) International trade Centre (ITC) TradeMap database. The data analysed in this report is over a 10-year review period from 2007-2016, thus the review period referred in this paper will imply the period between 2007 and 2016.

South Africa’s interest to strengthen trade relations with Egypt has been demonstrated by the agreement between the two countries to “reconvene, as a matter of priority, the South Africa-Egypt Joint Bilateral Commission with the aim of consolidating areas of cooperation and to identify new areas of collaboration.” The focus on Egypt and Africa in general comes as no surprise given South Africa’s economic dominance and the prospects of expanding its trade beyond SADC.

Trade Performance

Despite the potential that Egypt offers for South African businesses, bilateral trade has been minimal although there has been some growth over the past decade. One of the major obstacles limiting increased bilateral trade has been the strong competition faced by South Africa from European, American and Middle Eastern products and companies, which have historically had strong trade ties with Egypt.

From a global perspective, Egypt does not feature amongst South Africa’s top export destinations or import sources. The same can be said for intra-Africa trade, where both exports and imports account for less than 1% of South Africa’s trade with Africa. In both cases Egypt is ranked 16th top trading partner of South Africa in terms of imports and exports.

Since 2007, South Africa has maintained a trade surplus with Egypt, although in recent years between 2011 and 2014, the gap reduced before increasing again in 2015 and 2016. Latest available data reveals that in 2016, South Africa’s exports to Egypt were over US$ 207 million while imports were just above US$ 58 million.


South Africa’s trade with Egypt | Bilateral trade update No. 3, October 2017 - Author(s): Taku Fundira
South Africa’s trade with Egypt | Trade data spreadsheet, October 2017 - Author(s): Taku Fundira

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