Africa: Cashing in On Commodities - South Africa Posts Record Trade Surplus in June


South Africa's trade surplus widened to another record of R57.7bn in June, data from the South African Revenue Service showed. This is primarily a reflection of surging prices for the metals and minerals that South Africa pulls out of the ground and exports.

The trade surplus in June rose to R57.7-billion - its highest level - from R54.4-billion in May, the SA Revenue Service said in a statement on Friday.

"Exports for the year-to-date (1 January to 30 June 2021) increased by 51.0% to R895.7-billion from R593.29-billion over the same period during 2020. Imports for the year-to-date of R640.16-billion were 19.3% more than the R536.58-billion recorded during the same period in 2020. The preliminary cumulative trade balance surplus for 2021 is R255.56-billion," the SA Revenue Service said.

That is almost five times the cumulative trade surplus of R56.71-billion for the first six months of last year. Exports in June amounted to R166-billion, almost 44% more than the R116-billion recorded in June of last year.

This is driven primarily by the commodities cycle. Exports of precious metals and stones rose 7% in June compared with May, to almost R51-billion. Base metals exports rose 9% to almost R14-billion. Overall exports only increased...

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