SA records trade surplus of R5.16bn in September
Harare - The South African Revenue Service (SARS) released trade statistics for September 2019 recording a trade surplus of R5.16 billion.
These statistics include trade data with Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho and Namibia (BELN).
“The year-to-date (01 January to 30 September 2019) trade surplus R2.51 billion is an improvement from the R1.76 billion surplus for the comparable period in 2018. Exports decreased by 2.2 percent year-on-year whilst imports for the same period showed a decrease of 9.8 percent,” stated a SARS report.
According to the revenue services, the R5.16 billion trade surpluses for September 2019 is attributable to exports of R110.43 billion and imports of R105.27 billion. Exports decreased from August 2019 to September 2019 by R9.31 billion (7.8 percent) and imports decreased from August 2019 to September 2019 by R9.93 billion (8.6 percent).
Exports for the year-to-date (01 January to 30 September) increased by 5.4 percent from R907.21 billion in 2018 to R956.27 billion in 2019. Imports for the year-to-date of R953.76 billion are 5.3percent more than the R905.46 billion imports recorded in January to September 2018, leaving a cumulative trade surplus of R2.51 billion.
“On a year-on-year basis, the R5.16 billion trade surpluses for September 2019 is an improvement from the R3.77 billion deficits recorded in September 2018. Exports of R110.43 billion are 2.2percent less than the R112.87 billion exports recorded in September 2018. Imports of R105.27 billion are 9.8percent less than the R116.65 billion imports recorded in September 2018.August 2019’s trade surplus was revised downwards by R2.30 billion from the previous month’s preliminary surplus of R6.84 billion to a revised surplus of R4.54 billion as a result of ongoing Vouchers of Correction (VOC’s),” the report said.
Some analysts are of the view that the latest merchandise trade data suggest that the current account deficit could narrow sharply.
“In Q3 19, the seasonally adjusted and annualised merchandise trade balance based on SARS data comes to a surplus of ZAR37.3bn, which is a strong enhancement from the ZAR27.2bn deficit reported in Q2 19. Assuming that ‘invisibles’ accounts remained broadly unchanged in Q3 19, the latest merchandise trade data suggest that the current account deficit could narrow sharply,” commented Absa analysts in their recent economic update reports.