File photo: INLSA
JOHANNESBURG - The South African Revenue Service (Sars) today released trade statistics for February 2018 recording a trade balance surplus of R0.43 billion. 

These statistics include trade data with Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia and Swaziland (BLNS). 

"The year-to-date (1 January to 28 February 2018) trade balance deficit of R26.69 billion is a deterioration on the deficit for the comparable period in 2017 of R7.59 billion. Exports year-to-date grew by 3.1% whilst imports for the same period showed an increase of 14.0%," Sars said in a statement.

Sars said, in line with international statistical best practice, the Trade Statistics published by Sars are subject to revisions as new information becomes available on an ongoing basis. 

The January 2013 to January 2018 export figures have been adjusted by R16.67 billion resulting in the revision of the trade balance for the affected years as shown in the table below.

The R16.67 billion adjustment is as a result of revisions to the gold exports by the South African Reserve Bank (SARB), which supplies the gold export data to SARS. These gold revisions have been published by the SARB in the March 2018 Quarterly Bulletin.