TIPS Import Tracker (5)

The Import Tracker is a quarterly analysis of import trends. The reports provide an overview of import patterns and look at the causes of surges in manufacturing imports, and their likely impact on industry. 

It is produced in a partnership between the Department of Trade and Industry and TIPS.

The trade balance declined in the first quarter of 2019. At the end of the quarter, the deficit was R0.3 billion. With the exception of the first quarter of 2017, South Africa has seen a trade deficit in the first quarter for the 10 years between 2010 and 2019.  
The trade balance declined in the fourth quarter of 2018, however, although it fell there was still a trade surplus. During the same period, imports grew by 7,8% while exports saw a minimal growth of 1,2%.
Quarter 3 2018 saw a continued narrowing of the trade balance, with a very slim surplus of 0,3%. Year-on-year import growth of 12,8% was more than double export growth of 6% over the same period.Exports were buoyed by strong growth by the automotive sector, and iron and steel; as well…
Quarter 2 2018 continued a trend of recovery in trade volumes. 2018 also featured a trade surplus for the quarter, although the 5% surplus was lower than the previous two years - 8% in 2017 and 10% in 2016.
Quarter 1 2018 marked the first trade deficit since Quarter 1 2016, but nevertheless featured a continued recovery in general trade volumes following a contraction in trade after the end of the commodity super cycle.