Imports shrank 18.7 percent over the previous month to ZAR 20.67 billion. Purchases of mineral products and equipment goods fell the most by 32.9 percent and 28.7 percent, respectively. In addition, imports of vehicles and transport equipment dropped 18.4 percent and those of chemicals declined 16.4 percent.
Exports decreased 5.3 percent to ZAR 83.95 billion. Sales of prepared foodstuff recorded the highest drop (-13.8 percent), followed by machinery and electronics (-10.7 percent), mineral products (-9.8 percent) and vehicles and transport equipment (-9.1 percent). In contrast, shipments of precious metals and stones went up 7.3 percent.
In November, the country’s trade gap with the American countries, Europe and Asia narrowed 46.4 percent, 35.2 percent and 11.6 percent, respectively. The surplus with Africa widened 65.8 percent.
The cumulative deficit for 2014 is ZAR 101.13 billion compared to ZAR 73.22 billion in 2013.
Excluding trade with neighbors Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia and Swaziland, the country’s trade gap amounted to ZAR 16.3 billion in November and ZAR 197.25 billion year-to-date.