Pos­i­tive trade data fails to stop fall in rand

The Star Early Edition - - BUSINESS REPORT - Ka­belo Khu­malo

POS­I­TIVE trade data from the SA Rev­enue Ser­vice (Sars) yes­ter­day failed to lift the rand, which touched a two-week low.

The rand, which was bid at R12.98 against the dol­lar in early trade, fell af­ter rat­ings agency Moody’s re­leased a less-than-flat­ter­ing re­port on the chal­lenges fac­ing the econ­omy and a dis­ap­point­ing re­port from the SA Re­serve Bank on pri­vate credit ex­ten­sion.

At 5pm, the rand was at R13.1872 to the green­back.

Sars said the trade sur­plus was R10.6 bil­lion in June, from R7.2bn in May, de­spite Amer­i­can and Asian ex­ports de­creas­ing more than R3.5bn. It said ex­ports hit R102.1bn dur­ing the pe­riod, com­pared with im­ports of R91.47bn.

Sars said ex­ports grew 4.7 per­cent, to R564.3bn, dur­ing the first half of the year, com­pared with R539bn in the com­par­a­tive pe­riod last year.

It said im­ports eased 1.4 per­cent, to R536.7bn, com­pared with R544bn last year.

“On a year-on-year ba­sis, the R10.6bn trade-bal­ance sur­plus for June is an im­prove­ment from the sur­plus recorded in June 2016 of R8.38bn,” Sars said. “Ex­ports of R102.14bn are 1.1 per­cent more than the ex­ports recorded in June 2016 of R101.07bn. Im­ports of R91.47bn are 1.3 per­cent less than the im­ports recorded in June 2016 of R92.69bn.”

NKC African Eco­nom­ics an­a­lyst El­ize Kruger said ex­port growth con­tin­ued to re­ceive strong sup­port from a mod­er­ate re­cov­ery in the coun­try’s ma­jor trad­ing part­ners and higher com­mod­ity prices.

“With five con­sec­u­tive monthly trade sur­pluses and the cu­mu­la­tive trade sur­plus year-to-June no­tably higher than in 2016, it is clear that the tide has turned for the trade ac­count and sub­se­quently this will also have a pos­i­tive im­pact on the coun­try’s cur­rent ac­count deficit,” Kruger said.

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