South Africa Trade Balance Swings to Deficit


South Africa posted a ZAR 17.87 billion gap in January of 2016 compared to a downwardly revised ZAR 7.55 billion surplus in the previous month while missing market expectations of ZAR 14.1 billion deficit. Exports dropped 18.8 percent due to lower sales of precious metals and vehicles while imports rose 11 percent mainly boosted by higher purchases of equipment components.

Exports fell sharply by ZAR 16.57 billion or 18.8 percent to ZAR 71.50 billion in January of 2016 from ZAR 88.08 billion in December, mainly due to lower sales of precious metals and stones (-37 percent), vehicles and transport equipment (-34 percent), prepared foodstuffs (-26 percent), chemical products (-25 percent) and machinery and electronics (-12 percent). South African exports major destinations were China (8.8 of total exports), Germany (7.2 percent), the US (6.2 percent), Botswana (5.9 percent) and India (5.1 percent).

Imports rose by ZAR 8.86 billion or 11 percent to ZAR 89.37 billion from ZAR 80.52 billion in the previous month, as purchases of equipment components (+129 percent), base metals (+31 percent) and machinery and electronics (+16 percent) led the increase. Meanwhile, imports of mineral products (-17 percent) and vehicle and transport equipment (-11 percent) fell. The main sources of imports to the country were China (20.1 percent of total imports), Germany (11.2 percent), the US (6.1 percent), India (4.6 percent) and Japan (3.3 percent).

Excluding trade with neighboring Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia and Swaziland, the country posted a ZAR 25.49 billion deficit in January. 

South Africa Trade Balance Swings to Deficit


Joana Ferreira | joana.ferreira@tradingeconomics.com
2/29/2016 12:26:21 PM