South Africa's trade deficit decreased in May, to R8.9 billion, the SA Revenue Service (Sars) said on Friday.
This was a month-on-month decrease of R1bn, compared to the April deficit of R9.9bn.
During the month, exports increased by R10.6bn to reach R62.8bn, an increase of 20.4 percent.
Imports increased by R9.7bn, a 15.6 percent increase, to reach R71.7bn.
Exports of precious and semi-precious stones, mineral products, machinery and electrical appliances increased.
Exports increased in the following categories:
- Precious and semi-precious stones and metals increased by R3,8bn (37 percent);
- Mineral products increased by R2.58bn (17 percent);
- Machinery and electrical appliances increased by R976m (22 percent);
- Vegetable products increased by R865m (50 percent);
- Vehicles, aircraft and vessels increased by R670m (15 percent);
- Prepared foodstuffs, beverages and tobacco increased by R651m (43 percent);
- Base metals increased by R630m (nine percent).
Imports of mineral products, machinery and electrical appliances also increased.
Mineral products imports increased by R5.9bn (45 percent).
Machinery and electrical appliance imports increased by R1.18bn (seven percent).
Imports of original equipment components increased by R676m (16 percent).
Imports of vehicles, aircraft and vessels increased by R606m (nine percent) and imports from the chemical and allied industries increased by R427m (eight percent).
“The cumulative deficit for the year to date is R45.8bn compared to R7.5bn in 2011,” Sars said.
South Africa's deficit with Asia, Europe and America decreased during the month, reaching R10bn, R5bn, and R1.4bn respectively, as exports increased.
The country's surplus with Africa decreased from R5bn in April to R2bn in May, due to increased imports.
The deficit with Oceania (islands of the tropical Pacific Ocean) increased from R0.2bn in April to R0.9bn in May, as imports increased. - Sapa