South Africa Posts Widest Trade Surplus in 8 Months
South Africa recorded a trade surplus of ZAR 6.84 billion in August of 2019 compared to an upwardly revised ZAR 3.72 billion deficit in the prior month, easily beating market expectations of a ZAR 2 billion surplus. It was the largest trade surplus since last December, as exports surged 8.4 percent from a month earlier to an all-time high while imports fell 1 percent.
Exports soared 8.4 percent month-over-month to a record high of ZAR 122.02 billion in August, driven by shipments of mineral products (18 percent); precious & metal stones (10 percent); machinery & electronics (11 percent); vegetable products (6 percent) and vehicles & transport equipments (4 percent).
Imports declined 1.0 percent from a month earlier to ZAR 115.18 billion, dragged down by mineral products (-12 percent); vehicles & transport equipments (-11 percent) and original equipment components (-6 percent). In contrast, increases were seen in purchases of chemicals (14 percent) and vegetable products (31 percent).
Considering the first eight months of the year, the country's trade deficit shifted to a ZAR 0.85 billion deficit compared to a ZAR 4.67 billion surplus, as imports grew at a faster 7.6 percent to ZAR 848.78 billion while exports advanced 6.9 percent to ZAR 847.93 billion.
Excluding trade with neighbouring Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia and Swaziland, the country's trade shortfall narrowed to USD 4.14 billion in August 2019 from an upwardly revised ZAR 12.87 billion in a month earlier.
9/30/2019 12:50:39 PM