Media release – Trade statistics for December 2023

Jan 31, 2024 | Uncategorised

31 January 2024 – South Africa recorded a preliminary trade balance surplus of R14.1 billion in December 2023. This surplus was attributable to exports of R164.0 billion and imports of R149.9 billion, inclusive of trade with Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho and Namibia (BELN).

The year-to-date (01 January to 31 December 2023) preliminary trade balance surplus of R61.0 billion was a deterioration from the R192.0 billion trade balance surplus for the comparable period in 2022. On a year-on-year basis, export flows for December 2023 were 0.9% higher compared to R162.4 billion recorded in December 2022, whilst import flows were 5.0% lower having decreased from R157.8 billion in December 2022 to R149.9 billion in the current period.

On a month-to-month basis, exports decreased by R21.4 billion (-11.5%) from R185.3 billion to R164.0 billion between November and December 2023, whilst imports decreased by R14.9 billion (-9.0%) from R164.8 billion to R149.9 billion over the same period. Export flows decreased in December, driven by Gold, Platinum, and Vehicles (Goods). Value of imports decreased on the back of sizable decreases in importation of Original Equipment Components, Crude Oil, and Wheat and Meslin.

Due to ongoing Vouchers of Correction (VOCs), the preliminary trade balance surplus of R21.0 billion announced for November 2023 was revised downwards by R0.5 billion, with the final number at R20.5 billion.

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