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South Africa trade balance back to surplus

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South Africa’s trade balance returned to a surplus in March as exports of metals and vegetables climbed, while imports of mineral products declined.

The 9.5 billion-rand ($764 million) surplus compares with February’s revised deficit of 600 million-rand and a record 27 billion rand shortfall in January, the Pretoria-based South African Revenue Service said in an emailed statement Monday.

The median estimate of five economists surveyed by Bloomberg was for a 3.8 billion-rand surplus. The positive balance was 11.5 billion rand a year earlier.

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Some highlights from the statement include; imports falling two percent to 88.8 billion rand from a month earlier as mineral products, which includes oil, dropped 14 percent, exports increased by 9.2 percent to 98.3 billion rand, with shipments of mineral products, precious metals and vegetable products rising.

The trade deficit for the year so far is 18.6 billion rand, compared with a surplus of 4.2 billion rand a year earlier.-Bloomberg

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