TRADE DEFICIT REMAINS UNCHANGED IN MARCH 2007 AT R2.7 BILLION; LARGELY DUE TO INCREASE IN EXPORTS OF SEMI-PRECIOUS AND PRECIOUS STONES AND METALS, MACHINERY AND MECHANICAL APPLIANCES AND BASE METALS
Trade statistics for March 2007 that were released today by the South African Revenue Service (SARS) indicate exports of R42.5 billion and imports of R45.3 billion which resulted in a deficit of R2.7 billion. The deficit remains the same due to an almost equal increase in value of imports and exports from February to March.
Highlights include a month-on-month increase in exports of semi-precious and precious stones and metals, machinery and mechanical appliances and base metals. Imports increased by R5.2 billion (13%) to R45.3 billion whilst exports increased by R5.1 billion (14%) to R42.5 billion.
Trade by Category
Trade by World Zone
Trade for the year
Compared to the same period in 2006, cumulative imports have increased by R35.2 billion (38%) and exports increased by R35.0 billion (45%). It should be noted that, for this period, the growth in exports was higher than the growth in imports.
The increase in imports is mainly from Europe by R14.3 billion (40%), Asia by R8.2 billion (21%) and Africa by R6.1 billion (170%). Export trade increased mainly from Asia by R14.4 billion (73%), Europe by R11.6 billion (42%) and America by R4.1 billion (40%).
The year-on-year growth in imports was driven mainly by machinery, mechanical and electrical appliances (up by R10.1 billion (43%)), mineral products (up by R6.3 billion (38%)), base metals (up by R3.9 billion (103%)) and vehicles (up by R3.4 billion (28%)).
The year-to-date trade in exports in March 2007 versus the same period in 2006 increased mainly due to precious or semi-precious stones and metals (growth of R7.6 billion (36%), base metals (growth of R7.6 billion (58%), mineral products (growth of R7.5 billion (64%)) and machinery, mechanical and electrical appliances (growth of R4.3 billion (58%)).
The cumulative trade deficit for 2007 was R15.0 billion versus a deficit of R14.7 billion in 2006. The trade deficit for the month March 2007 was R2.7 billion versus a deficit of R2.8 billion in March 2006 (decline of 5%).
ISSUED BY THE COMMISSIONER FOR THE SOUTH AFRICAN REVENUE SERVICE