Total export proceeds for the first semester of 2013 were valued at R 42,107 million, representing an increase of 8.4% over the corresponding semester of last year. This total includes R 8,063 million of Ships’ stores and bunkers (SSB).
During the first semester of 2013, 33.1% of exports consisted of articles of apparel and clothing accessories (R 11,267 million), 20.8% of “fish and fish preparations” (R 7,092 million) and 14.6% of sugar (R 4,962 million).
The main export market remained the European continent with a share of 60.6%, while on a country-wise basis, the United Kingdom was the main buyer, accounting for 18.4% of total exports. The other main markets were France (13.0%), Italy (10.8%), USA (9.5%), South Africa (8.3%) and Madagascar (6.3%).
Total imports for the first six months of 2013 amounted to R 75,911 million, down by 1.8% over the first semester of 2012.
Around 24.4% of imports comprised of “Mineral fuels, lubricants and related materials” (R 18,555 million), 17.2% of “Machinery and transport equipment” (R 13,070 million) and 17.1% of “Manufactured goods classified chiefly by materials” (R 12,993 million).
The main sources of imports were : India (26.4%), China (14.0%), France (7.9%) and South Africa (6.5%).
3. Balance of Trade
The trade deficit for the first semester of 2013 works out to R 33,804 million, 12.1% lower than the deficit of R 38,466 million for the corresponding period of 2012.
4. Forecast 2013
Based on recent past trends and indicative information from various sources, total exports (including ship’s stores & bunkers) for the year 2013 are expected to be of the order of R 87,000 million against R 175,000 million for imports. The trade deficit would be around R 88,000 million.