Johannesburg – SA's bulk export volumes fell by 12.7% year on year (y/y) in January 2013 to 11.8-million tons (Mt)‚ data from the Transnet National Ports Authority (TNPA) showed on Tuesday.
Bulk exports rose by only 4.8% in 2012 after a 6.8% gain in 2011 and a 9.0% jump in 2010.
Bulk exports were up 9.2% year on year (y/y) in the first nine months of 2012 before industrial action in the mining sector curtailed exports.
Exports out of Richards Bay‚ which are mostly coal‚ declined by 9.2% y/y in January 2013 to 6.99Mt after rising by 5.2% in 2012 to 80Mt.
Exports out of Saldanha‚ which are mostly iron ore‚ plunged by 24.3% y/y to 3.789Mt after increasing by 4.6% in 2012 to 55.7Mt‚ while exports out of all other ports surged by 25.9% y/y in January to just over one million tons after gaining 3.4% in 2012 to 12.6Mt.
The poor January bulk exports data show that the SA economy is unlikely to gain from external demand in 2013 after a real decline in exports last year.
The Treasury is due to give an updated outlook for economic growth this year in the February 27 budget.
Last week‚ Statistics SA reported that formal sector employment fell by 0.1% y/y in the fourth quarter 2012‚ while employment agency Adcorp on Monday said that employment fell sharply in January with 51‚495 jobs lost during the month.
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