China is South Africa’s biggest trade partner

China remains South Africa’s biggest country trade partner, with imports and exports of R 291.5 billion in 2015.

The European Union (EU) is our biggest regional trade partner, with imports and exports totalling R 535.3 billion.

South Africa records trade deficits with most major regions and countries of the world. Examples include a deficit of R 55.3 billion with Germany, R 13.1 billion with Italy and R 9.7 billion with Brazil.

The general exception is trade with other African countries where trade balances with non-oil producers are mostly in South Africa’s favour.

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Oil and manufactured goods (particularly those with a high technology content) account for a large chunk of South
Africa’s imports. Exports are mainly materials extracted from the ground and products of the heavily subsidised local motor vehicle industry.

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