Exports increased by ZAR 12.8 billion or 14 percent to ZAR 104.68 billion in May of 2016 from an downwardly revised ZAR 91.8 billion in April, due to higher outbound shipments of precious metals and stones (+49 percent), vegatable products (+27 percent), mineral product (+10 percent), chemicals products (+10 percent) and base metals (+6 percent). South African exports major destinations were China (10 percent of total exports), Germany (7.5 percent), the US (7.1 percent), United Kingdom (6.5 percent) and India (4.4 percent).
Imports fell by ZAR 6 billion or 6.6 percent to ZAR 85.9 billion from an upwardly revised ZAR 91.9 billion in the previous month, as purchases of animals and vegetable products (-43 percent), precious metals and stones (-35 percent), mineral products (-14 percentt), machinery and electronics (-12 percent) and original equipment components (-12 percent). The main sources of imports to the country were China (17.6 percent of total imports), Germany (12.5 percent), the US (7.3 percent), India (3.7 percent) and Japan (3.4 percent).
Since the beginning of 2016, the trade deficit narrowed 97.6 percent to ZAR 0.65 billion compared to ZAR 27 billion a year earlier.
Excluding trade with neighboring Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia and Swaziland, the country posted a ZAR 10.7 billion surplus in May.