March trade surplus widens, driven by exports

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The trade surplus for March surpassed market expectations.
The trade surplus for March surpassed market expectations.
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The trade surplus for March widened to R52.8 billion, surpassing market expectations.

The South African Revenue Services on Friday released trade statistics for March.

The market consensus was for a trade balance of R28.3 billion.

Investec economist Lara Hodes noted that the 28.9% month-on-month increase in exports to R168.29 billion contributed to the massive surplus. Imports, by comparison, increased by 16.3% month-on-month to R115.52 billion.

"… the lift in exports was broad-based, with all key categories increasing on a month-on-month basis," said Hodes. "Notably, precious metals and stones exports grew by 41.0% m/m," she said.

Imports also increased across the board, Hodes added.

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