SOUTH AFRICAN REVENUE SERVICE
30 NOVEMBER 2006
SOUTH AFRICAN TRADE STATISTICS FOR OCTOBER 2006
TRADE DEFICIT INCREASES IN OCTOBER 2006 TO R12.9 BILLION, LARGELY DUE TO MONTH-ON-MONTH INCREASE OF R9.4 BILLION IN MINERAL PRODUCT IMPORTS.
The South African Revenue Service (SARS) today published trade statistics for the month of October which recorded exports of R39.8 billion and imports of R52.7 billion. This resulted in a deficit of R12.9 billion. The increase of the deficit is mainly as a result of a significant month-on-month increase in imports of mineral products due to further shut downs of refineries, as well as some stock piling of inventories. Imports increased by R14.9 billion (40%) to R52.7 billion whilst exports increased by R2.2 billion (6%) to R39.8 billion.
Trade by Category
- The September to October change (up by 40%) in imports of goods reflected significant increases in mineral products, particularly crude oil (R9.4 billion); machinery, mechanical appliances and electrical equipment- especially turbo jet machines, word processors and cell phone transmission apparatus (R1.9 billion); original vehicle equipment components (R986 million); base metals (R825 million); and vehicles (R771 million). However, imports of precious and semi-precious stones and metals- specifically diamonds declined by R325 million.
- The September to October change in exports of goods (up by 6%) reflected increases in mineral products- particularly coal, crude oil and ores (R2.8 billion); precious and semi-precious stones and metals- particularly platinum (R1.1 billion); and base metals (R495 million). Partly offsetting the effects were decreases which occurred in vehicles (R653 million); vegetable products (oranges) (R502 million); and machinery, mechanical appliances and electrical equipment (R435 million).
Trade by World Zone
- The trade deficit with Asia increased from R7 billion in September to R14 billion in October. Exports increased R2.2 billion to R11.2 billion, while imports also increased R8.7 billion (primarily crude oil from the Middle East) to R25 billion.
- The trade deficit with Europe increased to R2.8 billion in October (trade surplus of R82 million in September). Exports increased R632 million (primarily coal and ores) to R14.4 billion, while imports increased R3.5 billion (primarily vehicles, original vehicle equipment components, and machinery and mechanical appliance) to R17.2 billion.
- Month-on-month the trade deficit with America remains unchanged at R1.1 billion. Exports increased R699 million to R4.96 billion, while imports increased R695 million to R6.1 billion.
- The trade surplus with Africa has reduced from R4 billion to R1.4 billion (65% decline). Exports increased by R352 million to R5 billion, while imports increased by R2.2 billion (primarily crude oil) to R3.6 billion.
Trade for the year
Imports of mineral products, particularly crude and petroleum oil have played a significant role in the volatility of trade data. Large scale imports of crude oil are largely due to further shut downs of refineries and stock piling of sufficient inventories for the period of shutdown. Overall, imports of mineral products have grown by 57% year on year, compared to a growth of 21% in the previous year. A discount of this significant trade would reduce the current month's deficit from R12.9 billion to R3.5 billion, which is a figure within range of market expectation of -R3 billion.
Another contributor to the growth in imports has been machinery and mechanical appliance, which have grown by 31% year on year, compared to a growth of 15% in the previous year. These imports point towards continued public and private sector investment spending.
Although, the growth in imports has continued to outpace the growth in exports by a margin of more than 12% year on year, exports have shown a steady increase of 17% (year on year). This growth has been driven mainly by commodities such as precious and semi-precious stones and metals, mineral products (specifically coal) and base metals.
ISSUED BY THE COMMISSIONER FOR THE SOUTH AFRICAN REVENUE SERVICE
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