Just as bal­ance rights it­self, Trump trade fiat puts SA jobs on line

Sunday Times - - Business Opinion & Bits -

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 R9.5-bil­lion sur­plus com­pared with

Fe­bru­ary’s re­vised deficit of R600-mil­lion and a record R27-bil­lion short­fall in Jan­uary, SARS said.

AF­TER fall­ing sharply in March, the Absa pur­chas­ing man­agers’ in­dex beat an­a­lysts’ ex­pec­ta­tions and rose above the neu­tral 50 mark again in April. The in­dex, which rose four points to 50.9, is com­piled by the Bureau for Eco­nomic Re­search and gauges fu­ture man­u­fac­tur­ing ac­tiv­ity.

MONDI Group will buy Egypt-based Na­tional Com­pany for Pa­per Prod­ucts and Im­port & Ex­port for €23.7-mil­lion in a deal that fur­ther strength­ens its po­si­tion in the Mid­dle East. Mondi is a ma­jor pro­ducer of in­dus­trial bags in the Mid­dle East, op­er­at­ing four plants in the re­gion.

THE US’s de­ci­sion to re­ject South Africa’s ap­pli­ca­tion for ex­emp­tion from Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump’s im­port du­ties on steel and alu­minium may threaten about 7 500 jobs. Trump signed procla­ma­tions grant­ing per­ma­nent ex­emp­tions to a se­lect num­ber of coun­tries and ex­tended by one month the steel and alu­minium tariff duty ex­emp­tions for oth­ers. South Africa was not among them.

BAR­CLAYS Africa Group dropped KPMG’s South Africa unit as one of its two au­di­tors, the first ma­jor lo­cal bank to do so, in an­other blow to the ac­count­ing firm’s hopes of sur­vival in the coun­try. It is strug­gling to stem fur­ther loss of busi­ness af­ter be­com­ing em­broiled in evolv­ing scan­dals.

PAN African Re­sources suc­cumbed to a sus­tained low rand gold price, shut­ting its un­der­ground mine at Evan­der, re­trench­ing 1 600 peo­ple in a sec­tor bleed­ing jobs and cut­ting metal out­put.

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