SA trade gap widens as imports soar

SA trade gap widens as imports soar

2012-11-30 14:36

Johannesburg - South Africa's trade deficit widened more than expected to R21.2bn in October from R13.8bn in September as imports of machinery, vehicles and aircraft rose, the South African Revenue Service said on Friday.

Exports increased by 7.8% month-on-month to R61.1bn while imports jumped 16.7% to R82.3bn, SARS data showed.

Economists surveyed by Reuters had expected a trade shortfall of R15.35bn for October but the data is volatile and thus difficult to forecast.

"It's obviously a shock, a massive 27% increase in machinery and equipment imports, now that is a very broad area," said Satnlib economist Kevin Lings.

"It includes a whole lot of stuff that we would bring into this country ahead of the Christmas season. That would certainly be one of the factors that is contributing into this.

"So think of it as a build up of inventory ahead of the end of the year season, certainly contributed to the increase in imports.

"We're staring at a very big current account deficit for the fourth quarter of the year and we can see that in the rand, that has come under pressure. Clearly it's improved a little bit more recently, but this all just means that the rand is at risk."

The rand fell to R8.8047/$ by 14:18 from R8.76 before the data was released at 14:00.

The yield on the 2026 bond was up at 7.585% from 7.555%.

  • lacrimose.wolf - 2012-11-30 19:10

    How can govt be "shocked at 27% increase in machinery and equipment imports"? We can't, don't, won't make our own. As the labour fiasco lurches from one murderous impasse to another, those industries that would like to survive are mechanising. You've been warned about this but as usual have done nothing. Now bring on the next round of crises - it's all you are good at.

      wwrer.ww - 2012-12-01 10:13

      The militant labor unions are destroying the economy. No one wants to hire someone that will strike and strike each year for higher wages.

  • - 2012-12-01 00:06

    Kan iemand dit verduidelik aan arbeid in SA!!Dus so eenvoudig!! As 'n wateremmer vol is loop hy oor!!! As jy dus nie 'n groter water emmer kan bekostig nie, wat dan!! Sny arbeid, minder mense drink water, kleiner emmer is nodig!!! Koop masjienerie wat jy oor 10 jaar afbetaal, nie siek word nie, nie staak nie , nie jaarliks vir verhoging vra nie, as jy die "petrol petaal trap" is die produktiweteit vinniger ens - dit beteken INVOER, maar ten koste van die land! Dus rentekoerse styg, wie betaal, weer die kleinsakeman, dus sny hy weer want koopkrag neem af !! ASb kan die "slim mense"in die land wakker word!! Spreek tot Zuma en Kie!! Of sy raadgewers wat dalk tersiêre opleiding het!!!

  • Mazwi Biyase - 2012-12-01 08:54

    invest in education, 27% increase is because we don't have sufficient knowledge to manufacture equipment or machines ourselves. We need to invest in education that is the only cure .

      jaco.steyn.9480 - 2012-12-01 09:34

      I agree with you that we need to improve our education drastically, but disagree that it is the problem that we can't manufacture our own equipment. The problem is the country's labor laws and unions. Just look at what was going on the second half of this year!! It is cheaper and a lot less risky to import good!

  • moladi - 2012-12-01 18:01

    Question - How many jobs has a union created? They blow smoke up their skirts for negotiating on behalf of employed workers? It the same as a fish teaching a bird to fly!!! Unions don't create jobs!!!

  • lovenergy - 2012-12-02 09:13

    So it looks like Zuma got that new plane after all.

  • altus.kirsten - 2012-12-02 11:04

    And so the gap between rich and poor keeps widening....

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