From April to May, exports marginally rose by 0.1 percent. While shipments of vegetables and machinery and electrical appliances recorded the highest increases (37 percent and 14 percent, respectively), exports of mineral products and precious stones went down by 8 percent, respectively. Mineral products accounted for 25.3 percent of total exports (down from 26.5 percent in April), precious stones for 19.3 (from 20.83 percent in the previous month) and base metals for 12.2 percent (down from 13.3 percent).
From April to May imports went down by 5.8 percent, due to fall in imports of mineral products (- 16 percent) and machinery and electrical appliances (- 4 percent). Imports of vehicles, aircraft and vessels increased 10 percent. Machinery and appliances accounted for 24.9 percent of total imports (from 24.6 percent in April) and mineral products for 22.1 percent (from 24.22 percent).
Trade deficit with Asia, Europe, America and Oceania decreased, while trade surplus with Africa widened.
Year-on-year, exports increased by 5.88 percent and imports by 8.01 percent. The trade deficit widened to ZAR 11.03 billion in May of 2013 from ZAR 8.93 billion recorded in the same month last year.
The cumulative deficit for 2013 reached ZAR 68.71 billion compared to ZAR 46.21 billion in 2012.