Export Tracker - Q2 2021

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South Africa’s merchandise exports reached a new high in the second quarter of 2021 amounting to R520 billion, an 80.2% increase from the same period last year and a 26.3% increase from the previous quarter (Q1 2021). Although the large year-on-year increase in export values is partially reflective of a low base in 2020 as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, it is also a reflection of a large increase in prices rather than volumes. The second quarter of 2021 saw imports increase by 36.6%, amounting to R347 billion in constant rand terms, compared to Q2 2020, while they increased by 9.5% compared to the previous quarter.

South Africa experienced a record high trade surplus of R173 billion (US$11.6 billion) as the value of merchandise exports increased more than that of imports. In US$ dollar terms, merchandise exports were up by 128% from Q2 2020 (the pandemic quarter), amounting to US$34.8 billion, representing a 28.8% increase from the previous quarter. Imports increased by 71.4% to US$23.3 billion, an 11.2% increase from Q1 2021.

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