South Africa recorded a trade deficit of ZAR 35 billion in April of 2020 compared to a downwardly revised ZAR 23.9 billion surplus in the previous month and against market expectations of a ZAR 10.5 billion surplus. This was the widest monthly trade shortfall on record, as the adverse effects from the global pandemic began to be felt. Exports plunged 55.1% to ZAR 53 billion, as shipments fell sharply in all categories, namely precious metals & stones (-67%); vehicles & transport equipment (-88%); mineral products (-39%);;machinery & electronics (-85%) and base metals (-64%). Meantime, imports fell at a slower 6.5%.to ZAR 381.4 billion, on lower purchases of mineral products (-30%); original equipment components (-36%) and vehicles & transport equipment (-20%).

Balance of Trade in South Africa averaged 133.52 ZAR Million from 1957 until 2020, reaching an all time high of 23938.24 ZAR Million in March of 2020 and a record low of -35015.11 ZAR Million in April of 2020. This page provides the latest reported value for - South Africa Balance of Trade - plus previous releases, historical high and low, short-term forecast and long-term prediction, economic calendar, survey consensus and news. South Africa Balance of Trade - data, historical chart, forecasts and calendar of releases - was last updated on June of 2020. source: South African Revenue Service

Balance of Trade in South Africa is expected to be -9300.00 ZAR Million by the end of this quarter, according to Trading Economics global macro models and analysts expectations. Looking forward, we estimate Balance of Trade in South Africa to stand at 12000.00 in 12 months time. In the long-term, the South Africa Balance of Trade is projected to trend around -1542.00 ZAR Million in 2021 and 12000.00 ZAR Million in 2022, according to our econometric models.

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South Africa Balance of Trade

Actual Previous Highest Lowest Dates Unit Frequency
-35015.11 23938.24 23938.24 -35015.11 1957 - 2020 ZAR Million Monthly


Calendar GMT Actual Previous Consensus TEForecast
2020-02-28 12:00 PM Jan ZAR -1.87B ZAR 13.9B ZAR-13.8B ZAR -15B
2020-03-31 12:00 PM Feb ZAR 14.2B ZAR -2.7B ZAR2B ZAR -5B
2020-04-30 12:00 PM Mar ZAR24.25B ZAR13.71B ZAR9B ZAR -15B
2020-05-29 12:00 PM Apr ZAR-35.02B ZAR23.94B ZAR10.5B ZAR 15B
2020-06-29 12:00 PM May ZAR-35.02B
2020-07-31 12:00 PM Jun ZAR -9.3B
2020-08-31 12:00 PM Jul
2020-09-30 12:00 PM Aug


News Stream
South Africa Posts Largest Trade Gap on Record
South Africa recorded a trade deficit of ZAR 35 billion in April of 2020 compared to a downwardly revised ZAR 23.9 billion surplus in the previous month and against market expectations of a ZAR 10.5 billion surplus. This was the widest monthly trade shortfall on record, as the adverse effects from the global pandemic began to be felt. Exports plunged 55.1% to ZAR 53 billion, as shipments fell sharply in all categories, namely precious metals & stones (-67%); vehicles & transport equipment (-88%); mineral products (-39%);;machinery & electronics (-85%) and base metals (-64%). Meantime, imports fell at a slower 6.5%.to ZAR 381.4 billion, on lower purchases of mineral products (-30%); original equipment components (-36%) and vehicles & transport equipment (-20%).
2020-05-29
South Africa Posts Widest Trade Surplus on Record
South Africa's trade surplus rose to ZAR 24.3 billion in March of 2020 from a downwardly revised ZAR 13.7 billion in the previous month and easily beating market expectations of a ZAR 9 billion surplus. This was the largest monthly trade surplus since at least January of 1957. Exports surged 8.5 percent to ZAR 118.5 billion, boosted by sales of precious metals & stones (21 percent); prepared foodstuff (26 percent); mineral products (4 percent); vehicles & transport equipment (6 percent) and vegetable products (12 percent9. Meanwhile, imports fell 1.3 percent to ZAR 94.2 billion, as lower purchases of textiles (-35 percent) outweighed increases in those of vegetable products (48 percent); mineral products (5 percent); vehicles & transport equipment (9 percent) and original equipment components (7 percent).
2020-04-30
South Africa Posts Widest Trade Surplus since 2018
South Africa recorded a trade surplus of ZAR 14.2 billion in February of 2020, after an upwardly revised 2.7 billion deficit in the previous month and beating market expectations of a ZAR 2 billion surplus. This was the largest monthly trade surplus since December of 2018, as exports grew 8.6 percent from the prior month to ZAR 109.6 billion, boosted by shipments of vehicles & transport equipment (93%); machinery & electronics (29%) and chemicals (15%). In contrast, imports fell 7.9 percent to ZAR 95.5 billion, dragged down by lower purchases of machinery & electronics (-13%); vehicles & transport equipment (-24%); plastics & rubber (-17%); prepared foodstuff (-20%) and precious metals & stones (-31%). Sales rose mostly to Europe (28.3%) and Africa (16%) whereas acquisitions declined primarily from Asia (-6.2%), Europe (-10.9%) and Africa (-14%).
2020-03-31
South Africa Trade Deficit Lower than Expected
South Africa recorded a trade deficit of ZAR 1.87 billion in January 2020, after a downwardly revised ZAR 13.89 billion surplus in the previous month, and compared to market expectations of a ZAR 13.8 billion gap. Exports dropped 1.4 percent from the prior month to ZAR 101.41 billion, mainly due to lower sales of prepared foodstuff (-28 percent); machinery & electronics (-16 percent) and precious metals & stones (-3.0 percent). In addition, imports rose 16.1 percent to ZAR 103.28 billion, boosted by higher purchases of original equipment components (169 percent); machinery & electronics (15 percent); base metals (62 percent) and textiles (52 percent).
2020-02-28

South Africa Balance of Trade
In 2017, South Africa recorded the biggest trade deficits with China, Saudi Arabia, Germany, Thailand, France, Nigeria, Italy and Brazil and the biggest trade surpluses with Botswana, Namibia, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Belgium and Netherlands.