Total export proceeds for the first quarter of 2013 is valued at R 20,361 million, showing an increase of 10.6% compared to the corresponding quarter of 2012. This increase is mainly explained by rises in the exports of “Ship’s stores and bunkers” (+42.7%), “Cane sugar” (+28.6%) and “Fish & fish preparations” (+17.5%), partly offset by a decrease in “Articles of apparel & clothing accessories” (-5.5%).
Compared to the previous quarter (quarter 4 of 2012), total exports for the first quarter of 2013 dropped by 6.5%, mainly explained by a decrease of 13.7% in the exports of “Articles of apparel & clothing accessories”.
Exports of Export Oriented Enterprises (EOE) for the first quarter of 2013 amounted to R 10,914 million, showing a slight increase of 0.3% over the corresponding quarter of 2012 and a decrease of 10.3% when compared to the previous quarter.
Comparison of exports figures for the first quarter of 2013 with first quarter of 2012 shows that exports towards our main buyers rose for Italy (33.4%), Madagascar (9.0%) and South Africa (2.5%). However, exports to Spain and France dropped by 14.6% and 7.3% respectively.
Total imports rose by 0.9% to reach R 37,271 million in the first quarter of 2013 from R 36,950 million in the corresponding quarter of 2012. Compared to the previous quarter, imports dropped by 16.7%, mainly due to lower imports of “Miscellaneous manufactured articles” (-38.1%), “ Food and live animals” (-19.2%) and “Machinery and equipments” (-26.1%).
Comparison of figures for the first quarters of 2013 and 2012 shows that imports from our main suppliers rose as follows: India (+14.4%) and South Africa (+11.8%).
Imports of refined petroleum products, which amounted to R 8,628 million in the first quarter of 2013, increased by almost 16% when compared to both the previous quarter and the corresponding quarter of 2012.
3. Balance of trade
The trade deficit for the first quarter of 2013 works out to R 16,910 million, 8.8% lower than the deficit of R 18,548 million in the corresponding quarter of 2012.
4. Forecast 2013
Based on recent past trends and indicative information from various sources, total exports for the year 2013 are expected to be of the order of R 87,000 million, against R 180,000 million for imports. Consequently, the trade deficit is expected to be around R 93,000 million.