SA trade balance swings back into surplus of R430m in February
BusinessLive - Apr 3rd 2018, 18:41
SA’s trade account recorded a surplus of R430m in February, while January’s deficit was revised downwards by R540m, to R27.12bn, data released by the South African Revenue Service (SARS) showed.
February’s numbers bring the year-to-date deficit to R26.69bn, compared to R7.59bn over the same period in 2017. The increased deficit was as a result of a 3.1% rise in exports, while imports rose 14%.
A Trading Economics consensus had forecast a deficit of R3bn in February 2018.
The surplus recorded in February 2017 was R4.12bn, substantially higher than that of February 2018.
Along with the monthly release, SARS announced revisions totaling R16.67bn to the trade stats from January 2013 to January 2018. "The adjustment is as a result of revisions to the gold exports by the South African Reserve Bank, which supplies the gold export data to SARS." These gold revisions were published by the Bank in the March 2018 quarterly bulletin.
These adjustments resulted in the following trade balances:
• 2013: -R67.92bn (from -R69.19bn)
• 2014: -R73.41bn (from -R82.7bn)
• 2015: -R60.34bn (from -R52.2bn)
• 2016: R17.2bn (from R1.03bn)
• 2017: R77.56bn (from R79.86bn)
• 2018: -R26.69bn (from -R27.06bn)
The main changes in exports for February came in vehicles and transport equipment (up 117%), and precious metals and stones (up 14%); while imports saw a drop of 25% in machinery and electronics, and 24% in base metals.
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