Positive trade data fails to stop fall in rand
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.