Exports jumped to ZAR 99.6 billion, boosted by higher sales of vegetable products (+20 percent), precious metals and stones (+20 percent), base metals (+11 percent), vehicles and transport equipment (+7 percent) and chemical products (+12 percent). Major destinations for exports were China (11.6 percent of total exports), the US (8.6 percent), Germany (7.8 percent), Namibia (5.7 percent) and Botswana (5.5 percent).
Imports rose to ZAR 100.7 billion, as purchases went up for vehicles and transport equipment (+57 percent), mineral products (+20 percent), machinery and electronics (+7 percent) and prepared foodstuffs (+23 percent). Meanwhile imports fell for equipment components (-25 percent). The main sources of imports to the country were China (19.5 percent of total imports), Germany (11.7 percent), the US (7.2 percent), France (6 percent) and Saudi Arabia (4.9 percent).
Considering the first eleven months of 2016, the trade deficit shrank to ZAR 14.61 billion compared to ZAR 59.28 billion the same period a year earlier, as exports went up 5.8 percent and imports grew at a much slower 1 percent.
Excluding trade with neighboring Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia and Swaziland, the country posted a trade gap of ZAR 10.71 billion in November.