South Africa's merchandise trade deficit increased from the previous month in April, defying economists forecast for a decline, data released by Statistics South Africa showed Thursday.
The trade deficit widened to ZAR9.9 billion in April from ZAR5.5 billion in March. Economists were looking for a deficit of ZAR5 billion. In April 011, the trade balance was a deficit of ZAR2.4 billion.
Export of goods decreased 14.9 percent month-on-month to ZAR52.2 billion during the month. Shipments of precious and semi-precious stones and metals fell by 23 percent, while dispatches of mineral products decreased 16 percent. There was a 14 percent sequential fall in exports of machinery and electrical appliances during the month, and a 10 percent fall in shipments of vehicles, aircraft and vessels.
Imports declined 7.2 percent from the previous month to ZAR62 billion in April. Arrivals of mineral products plunged 25 percent month-on-month, while imports of machinery and electrical appliances advanced 6 percent. There was an 8 percent decrease in imports of chemicals and allied products during the month, data showed.
by RTT Staff Writer
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