Ricochet News

International trade at EL’s port favours imports

Aug 28, 2015
International trade at EL’s port favours imports

More than R7 billion in international trade went in and out of East London’s harbour in March, according to statistics compiled by the Eastern Cape Government’s Department of Economic Development, Environmental Affairs and Tourism.

The trade was slightly balanced in favour of imports, accounting for 50.4%.

The figures are published in a fact sheet launched by the department this year, International Trade Tracker, which tracks all trade activities within the province on a quarterly basis.

This first edition focused on activities at the Port of East London during March this year based on data from the South African Revenue Services.

Future editions will include other provincial ports and a more detailed breakdown of the commodities exported and imported through them.

The fact sheet shows that in March imports worth R3 538.1 million and exports valued at R3 476.2 million moved in and out of East London harbour.

More than half were to and from Europe, mostly Germany and Belgium.

Exports worth R1 993.9 million went to Europe, accounting for 57% of all exports for the month. Only 1%, or R26.7 million, went to African countries.

The second biggest destination for exports was Asia, accounting for R649 million (19%). The smallest was North America with only R5.2 million in exports.

South America (R533.4 million or 15%) and Australia and Oceania (R268 million or 8%) were the other major export destinations.

Imports into East London were even more heavily weighted in favour of Europe, with a 76% share of imports worth a total of R2 679.8 million coming into the harbour.

North America was from where the second biggest value of imports came at R601.3 million, or 17%. Imports from Asia amounted to R209.8 million (6%) and Africa R46.6 million (1%).

Of African imports, almost all – R33.8 million - came from Mozambique.

Although total imports exceeded total exports by R69.1 million, the greatest trade imbalance was with Europe where the value of imports exceeded value of exports by approximately R686 million.