Picture: ISTOCK
Picture: ISTOCK

SA recorded a shock trade deficit of R4.66bn in July, falling well short of analysts’ expectations.

This follows June’s revised surplus of R11.89bn and was at odds with the Bloomberg consensus of a R5.2bn surplus.

Data from the SA Revenue Service (Sars) on Friday showed that July’s deficit was attributable to exports of R107.06bn and imports of R111.72bn.

On a year-on-year basis, this is a significant deterioration from the R8.58bn surplus recorded in July 2017.

The July trade balance delivered an average deficit of R3.8bn in four of the past eight years, and an average surplus of R5.8bn in the other four.

“This highlights the volatility,” said FNB chief economist Mamello Matikinca.

“We think that, given weak domestic demand, July will deliver a surplus sufficient enough to erase the year-to-date deficit of R1.4bn, and take the year-to-date surplus to July to approximately R2.7bn,” she said last week.

However, so far, there is a cumulative trade deficit of R6.51bn for 2018.