SA recorded a trade surplus of R3.49bn in November, statistics released by Sars on Friday reveal. However, for the 11 months to end-November there was a trade deficit amounting to R4.16bn, a deterioration on the surplus for the comparable period in 2017, of R62.3bn.

Exports year-to-date increased by 6.1% while imports for the same period showed an increase of 13%. The statistics include trade data with Botswana, eSwatini, Lesotho and Namibia.

The R3.49bn trade surplus for November 2018 is attributable to exports of R118.84bn and imports of R115.35bn. Exports decreased from October to November 2018 by R2.79bn (2.3%) and imports by R10.57bn (8.4%).

Exports for the year-to-date (January 1 to November 30)  increased by 6.1% from R1.080-trillion in 2017 to R1.146-trillion in 2018. Imports for the year-to-date of R1.150-trillion are 13% more than the R1.018-trillion in imports recorded in January to November 2017, leaving a cumulative trade deficit of R4.16bn for 2018.

On a year-on-year basis, the R3.49bn trade surplus for November 2018 is a deterioration from the R13.38bn surplus recorded in November 2017. Exports of R118.84bn are 2% more than the R116.51bn recorded in November 2017. Imports of R115.35bn are 11.8% more than the R103.14bn recorded in November 2017.

October 2018’s trade deficit was revised down by R1.26bn from the previous month’s preliminary deficit of R5.55bn to a revised deficit of R4.29bn.