South Africa's trade surplus decreased to ZAR 32 billion in December of 2020 from a downwardly revised ZAR 35 billion in the prior month and missing market expectations of a ZAR 35 billion surplus. Exports fell at a faster 8.2 percent to ZAR 125.9 billion, dragged down by lower sales of precious metals & stones (-24%); vehicles & transport equipments (-24%) and prepared foodstuff (-17 percent). Meantime, imports fell 7.8 percent to ZAR 93.9 billion, amid lower acquisitions of machinery & electronics (-10%); base metals (-22%); original equipment components (-19%) and textiles (-20%). Considering the full year of 2020, the country's trade surplus widened sharply to ZAR 270.6 billion from ZAR 23.7 billion in the previous year, as exports surged 7.5% whereas imports slipped 11.8%. source: South African Revenue Service

Balance of Trade in South Africa averaged 486.10 ZAR Million from 1957 until 2020, reaching an all time high of 46101.95 ZAR Million in June of 2020 and a record low of -35969.98 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 February of 2021.

Balance of Trade in South Africa is expected to be -1258.00 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 -1542.00 in 12 months time. In the long-term, the South Africa Balance of Trade is projected to trend around -1542.00 ZAR Million in 2022 and 12500.00 ZAR Million in 2023, according to our econometric models.

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South Africa Balance of Trade

Actual Previous Highest Lowest Dates Unit Frequency
32000.24 35262.26 46101.95 -35969.98 1957 - 2020 ZAR Million Monthly


Calendar GMT Actual Previous Consensus TEForecast
2020-10-30 12:00 PM Sep ZAR33.51B ZAR38.70B ZAR 42B
2020-11-30 12:00 PM Oct ZAR36.13B ZAR33.4B ZAR 40B
2020-12-28 12:00 PM Nov ZAR36.72B ZAR34.94B ZAR23B ZAR 38B
2021-01-29 12:00 PM Dec ZAR 32B ZAR35B ZAR35B ZAR 42B
2021-02-26 12:00 PM Jan ZAR 32B ZAR 25B
2021-03-31 12:00 PM Feb
2021-04-30 12:00 PM Mar ZAR 20B
2021-05-31 12:00 PM Apr


News Stream
South Africa Trade Surplus Narrows in December
South Africa's trade surplus decreased to ZAR 32 billion in December of 2020 from a downwardly revised ZAR 35 billion in the prior month and missing market expectations of a ZAR 35 billion surplus. Exports fell at a faster 8.2 percent to ZAR 125.9 billion, dragged down by lower sales of precious metals & stones (-24%); vehicles & transport equipments (-24%) and prepared foodstuff (-17 percent). Meantime, imports fell 7.8 percent to ZAR 93.9 billion, amid lower acquisitions of machinery & electronics (-10%); base metals (-22%); original equipment components (-19%) and textiles (-20%). Considering the full year of 2020, the country's trade surplus widened sharply to ZAR 270.6 billion from ZAR 23.7 billion in the previous year, as exports surged 7.5% whereas imports slipped 11.8%.
2021-01-29
South Africa Trade Surplus Widens in November
South Africa's trade surplus rose to ZAR 36.7 billion in November of 2020 from a downwardly revised ZAR 34.9 billion in the previous month and beating market expectations of a ZAR 23 billion surplus. Imports declined at a faster 9.7 percent to ZAR 102 billion, dragged down by reduced acquisitions in all categories, especially original equipment components (-39 percent) and precious metals & stones (-50 percent). At the same time, exports fell 6.2 percent to ZAR 138.7 billion, amid lower shipments of precious metals & stones (-18 percent); vegetable products (-26 percent) and vehicles & transport equipment (-8 percent).
2020-12-28
South Africa Trade Surplus Widens Slightly in October
South Africa's trade surplus rose to ZAR 36.1 billion in October of 2020 from a downwardy revised ZAR 33.4 billion in the previus month. Exports advanced 10 percent over a month earlier to ZAR 149.2 billion, boosted by shipments of vehicles & transport equipment (35 percent); base metals (24 percent); precious metals & stones (22 percent) and machinery & electronics (9 percent). Meanwhile imports grew 10.5 percent to ZAR 113 billion, amid higher purchases of vehicles & transport equipment (56 percent); original eqipment components (29 percent); prepared foodstuff (28 percent) and machinery & electronics (10 percent). Sales rose mostly to the US (12.2 percent), Germany (9.1 percent) and China (8.9 percent), while acquisitions rose primarily from China (19.8 percent) and Germany (10.1 percent).
2020-11-30
South Africa Trade Surplus Narrows in September
South Africa's trade surplus shrank to ZAR 33.5 billion in September of 2020 from a downwardly revised ZAR 38.7 billion in the previous month. Imports surged 12.1 percent to ZAR 102.2 billion, mainly boosted by purchases of original equipment components (79 percent); mineral products (23 percent); chemicals (11 percent) and wood pulp & paper (31 percent). Meantime, exports advanced at a slower 4.5 percent to ZAR 135.8 billion, as higher shipments of mineral products (14 percent); machinery & electronics (11 percent) and base metals (7 percent) were partly offset by a decline in those of vegetable products (-16 percent).
2020-10-30

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.