SA achieved a trade surplus for November, bringing the surplus for the first 11 months of the year to over R10bn compared with the deficit for the same period last year.

According to the November trade statistics released by the SA Revenue Service (Sars) on Friday, the trade surplus for the month was R6.1bn. The year-to-date trade surplus of R10.54bn marks a strong improvement over the R1.24bn deficit for the comparable period in 2018.

The statistics include trade data with Botswana, Lesotho, Swaziland and Namibia.

Exports decreased by 0.9% year-on-year while imports for the same period showed a decrease of 3.8%.

The R6.10bn trade surplus for November is due to exports of R116.9bn and imports of R110.8bn. Exports decreased from October to November by R5.94bn (4.8%) and imports decreased over the same period by R9.29bn (7.7%).

Exports for the year to end November increased by 4.4% from R1,145.15bn in 2018 to R1,195.54bn. Imports over this period of R1,184.99bn were 3.4% more than the R1,146.39bn of imports recorded in the same period last year.

On a year-on-year basis, the R6.10bn trade surplus for November 2019 is an improvement from the R2.71bn surplus recorded in November 2018.

Sars said October 2019’s trade surplus was revised downwards by R0.34bn from the previous month’s preliminary surplus of R3.09bn to a revised surplus of R2.75bn.