External Trade Statistics
1st Quarter 2014
Total export proceeds for the first quarter of 2014, including domestic exports, re-exports and ship’s stores and bunkers, amounted to R 21,385 million showing an increase of 5.0% compared to the first quarter of 2013. This increase is mainly explained by rises in the exports of “Machinery and transport equipment” (+102.8%), “Manufactured goods chiefly classified by material” (+21.6%) and “Ship’s stores and bunkers” (+7.7%), partly offset by a decrease in “Cane sugar” (-16.5%).
Compared to the previous quarter (quarter 4 of 2013), total exports for the first quarter of 2014 dropped by 9.2%, mainly explained by decreases of 37.7% in the exports of “Machinery and transport equipment”, 7.4% in “Fish and fish preparations” and 7.3% in “Articles of apparel & clothing accessories”.
Exports of Export Oriented Enterprises (EOE) for the first quarter of 2014 amounted to R 10,968 million, showing a slight increase of 0.5% over the corresponding quarter of 2013 and a decrease of 6.6% when compared to the previous quarter.
Comparison of exports figures for the first quarter of 2014 with the corresponding figures for 2013 shows that exports towards our main buyers rose for U.S.A (+21.1%), France (+19.1%) and Madagascar (+15.1%). However, exports to South Africa and United Kingdom dropped by 20.2% and 16.4% respectively.
Total imports dropped by 5.6% to reach R 35,620 million in the first quarter of 2014 from R 37,744 million in the corresponding quarter of 2013. Compared to the previous quarter, imports dropped by 24.5%, mainly due to lower imports of “Machinery and transport equipment” (-35.7%), “Manufactured goods classified chiefly by material” (-26.1%), “Food and live animals” (-15.3%) and “Mineral fuels, lubricants and related products” (-12.9%).
Comparison of figures for the first quarters of 2014 with those of the first quarter of 2013 shows that imports from our main suppliers dropped as follows: India (-13.6%), South Africa (-6.8%), and France (-3.0%).
3. Balance of trade
The trade deficit for the first quarter of 2014 works out to R 14,235 million, 18.1% lower than the deficit of R 17,383 million in the corresponding quarter of 2013.
4. Forecast 2014
Based on recent past trends and indicative information from various sources, total exports for the year 2014 are expected to be of the order of R 91,000 million, against R 175,000 million for imports. Consequently, the trade deficit is expected to be around R 84,000 million.