Johannesburg - SA recorded a trade deficit of
R5.5bn for its trade with non-Southern African Customs Union
(non-SACU) trading partners in March, after a R7.5bn deficit in
February, according to customs and excise figures released on Monday.
A survey of economists by I-Net Bridge had forecast a deficit of R5bn.
Forecasts among six economists ranged from a R6.0bn deficit to a R2.4bn surplus.
There was an increase in exports of R5.1bn (9.0%) to
R61.3bn and an increase in imports of R3.1bn (4.8%) to R66.8
Customs and Excise reported that the reduced trade deficit of
R5.5bn in March was mainly due to increased exports of mineral
products, products of the chemicals or allied industries and precious
and semi-precious stones, and decreased imports of animal or vegetable
fats and oils and their cleavage products.
The cumulative deficit for 2012 is R26.3bn compared to a cumulative deficit of R5.1bn in 2011.
In exports, mineral products increased by R3.488bn or
25%; products of the chemical or allied industries increased by R736m or 26%; precious and semi-precious stones and metals increased
by R460m or four percent; and base metals and articles thereof
decreased by R490m or -six percent.
In imports, machinery and electrical appliances increased by
R1.554bn or 12%; mineral products increased by R679m or
four percent; vehicles, aircraft and vessels increased by R485m
or eight percent; original equipment components increased by R282m or seven percent; and animal or vegetable fats and oils and
their cleavage products decreased by R365m or 47%.