CAPE TOWN, June 30 – South Africa registered a trade balance surplus of R9.5 billion for May this year, according to trade statistics released by the South African Revenue Service (Sars) on Friday.
The stats, which include trade information with Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia and Swaziland, shows a year-to-date improvement in the trade balance.
Between January 1 and May 31 this year, a trade surplus of R19.52 bln was recorded in comparison with the deficit of R13.29 bln observed for the same period last year.
“The R9.50 billion trade balance surplus for May 2017 is attributable to exports of R105.02 billion and imports of R95.52 billion. Exports increased from April 2017 to May 2017 by R13.99 billion (15.4 percent) and imports increased from April 2017 to May 2017 by R9.46 billion (11 percent),” Sars said in a statement.
“Exports for the year-to-date (01 January to 31 May 2017) grew by 6.1 percent from R438.01 billion in 2016 to R464.78 billion in 2017. Imports for the year-to-date of R445.25 billion are 1.3 percent less than the imports recorded in January to May 2016 of R451.30 billion.”
The surplus recorded in May this year was however lower than the surplus of R13.1 bln recorded in the same month last year.
Trade highlights included month-on-month increases in the export of miscellaneous manufactured articles (up 220 percent), vegetable products (up 46 percent), prepared foodstuffs (38 percent), chemical products (28 percent), vehicle and transport equipment (up 15 percent), machinery electronics (up 15 percent), base metals (up 14 percent), and precious metals and stones (up 8 percent).
Month-on-month, imports also grew for original equipment components (up 33 percent), mineral products (up 22 percent), textiles (up 16 percent), chemical products (up nine percent), and machinery and electronics (up seven percent).
Sars recorded a trade balance surplus in May of R17.8 bln (up 48 percent from April) between South Africa’s and other countries on the African continent. Exports to Africa grew by R5.5 bln to R27.7 bln, while imports grew by R267 mln to R9.9 billion.
South Africa experienced a trade surplus of R138 mln with the Americas in May, with exports growing by R2.4 bln from April to May to now total R10.2 bln, while imports inreased by R1.4 bln for the same period to total 10 bln.
A trade deficit of R11.5 ln was however recorded in May with the Asian region. South Africa’s exports to Asia grew by R2.7 bln (from April to May) to R32 bln, while imports imports grew by R4.8 bln (from April to May) to R43.6 bln.
European exports totalled R25.5 bln (up R1.9 bln from April), while imports increased to R30.5 bln (up R3.6 bln from April) leading to trade deficit of R4.9 bln.
Another deficit was recorded in trade between South Africa and the Oceania region. The deficit of R31 million for May was caused by exports being up only R15mln from April (totalling R1.1 bln for May) and exports increasing by R193 million (totalling R1.2 bln for May).
– African News Agency (ANA)