Earnings from gold exports contract 25% in 2016 | Fin24
 
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Earnings from gold exports contract 25% in 2016

Mar 23 2017 13:41
Lameez Omarjee

Johannesburg – Gold exports increased 175% in the fourth quarter of 2016, but declined 38.4% for the year.

This is according to the March Quarterly Bulletin released by the South African Reserve Bank (SARB) on Wednesday.

The central bank reported on Wednesday that the current account deficit contracted to 1.7% in the fourth quarter of 2016, this was partly driven by improved terms of trade as demand for domestically produced goods increased and as commodity prices surged.  

READ: SA current account deficit narrows to 1.7% of GDP

Despite lower gold production in 2016, demand for gold had risen especially following growing demand in India.

Bloomberg reported that there was growing demand for gold in China.

READ: Gold demand to increase in China

Several central banks also purchased gold in international markets, according to the report. These include Russia, China, Jordan and Kazakhstan.

Export earnings from gold increased 6.3% in the fourth quarter however earnings contracted 25.2% for the year as a whole.

Merchandise exports increased 3.7% for the quarter, this was driven by the higher exports of mining products by 13.4%, the report explained. Improvements in exports in coal and iron contributed to the rebound. However export volumes of platinum group metals contracted.

The improved mining exports also helped counter the 4.9% decline in exports of manufactured products. 

ALSO READ: Coal drags but mining production still on the up

Mining production for January was up 1.3%, , according to data from Statistics South Africa (StatsSA).

The main drivers of this increase include manganese ore up 20% and contributing 1.2 percentage points to overall production, and iron ore which was up 7.3%, also contributing 1.2 percentage points to production.

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