South Africa's Dynamic Exports Landscape

tendata blogImport News

ten data blog10-01-2024

south africa export,south africa exports,south africa export products

South Africa boasts numerous natural resources and emerging markets, making it an ideal gateway for South Africa exports. Conducting international trade business here is certainly worth considering.

In 2022, the total value of South Africa exports reached $121 billion. The country's commodity exports grew by 0.243% compared to 2021, ranking as the 37th largest exporting nation globally.

In 2022, South Africa's agricultural exports continued to grow for the third consecutive year, reflecting favorable production conditions and higher commodity prices. Major export crops still include corn, wine, grapes, citrus, berries, nuts, apples and pears, sugar, avocados, and wool.

These products have been the driving force behind South Africa exports for decades, with fruits and wine increasingly dominating the export scene. This has propelled the rise in the value of agricultural (and agro-processing) exports, accounting for an average of 11% of South Africa's total exports, compared to 9% a decade ago.

By value, about half of South Africa's agricultural products are now used for South Africa exports. Citrus, table grapes, wine, and a variety of deciduous fruits dominate the export list. Encouragingly, there is a growing trend in beef exports.

Top Products Expected to be Imported from South Africa in 2024

Here are the hottest products exported from South Africa, showing significant growth potential:

1. Wine (5% YoY growth in 2022)

2. Fruits and Nuts (3% YoY growth in 2022)

3. Vehicles (Expected 8% YoY growth in 2023)

4. Gems and Precious Metals ($25.24 billion in 2023)

5. Apparel and Footwear

6. Rubber

1. Wine

South African wine is highly regarded, and due to the weakened currency, it is relatively cheaper compared to wines from more economically stable countries.

The UK is the largest export market for South African wine, accounting for 25% of total wine exports. In 2022, the UK imported 96.9 million liters of wine, a 5% increase from the previous year.

China, African countries, the United States, and Canada are strong export markets for South African wine outside the UK.

2. Fruits and Nuts

South Africa saw a 3% increase in fruit exports in 2022. One-third of South Africa's fruit exports go to the EU 27 countries, with the Netherlands being the most significant buyer of South African fruit to date.

3. Vehicles

One of the key factors driving the industry's growth over the past 15 years is the Motor Industry Development Program (MIDP), launched by the government in 1995, promoting economic growth in the sector.

By 2023, the total shipment of vehicles is expected to grow by 8%, reaching 380,900 units.

4. Gems and Precious Metals

South Africa possesses abundant natural resources, particularly in diamonds and gold, which are consistently in demand globally. Top countries with the highest demand include Japan, the United States, the UK, Hong Kong, Germany, the UAE, and Belgium.

Sales of gemstones and precious metal commodities reached $25.24 billion in 2023, steadily growing from $20 billion in 2020 (accounting for 23.3% of total exports).

Gemstones and precious metals are the fastest-growing category among the top ten South Africa exports, with a YoY growth of 30.4% since 2019, driven by increased international sales of platinum and gold.

While gemstones and precious metals may be a lucrative investment, it is crucial to understand potential import and export controls, required import permits, and tariffs in South Africa.

5. Apparel and Footwear

South Africa exports textiles and apparel mainly to trading partners such as China, India, the United States, and the UK.

However, the United States recently extended the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) until 2025, allowing the Southern African Development Community (SADC) to export $2 billion worth of duty-free clothing to the United States, with the highest growth potential being internal exports within the African continent. The United States is the largest market, with a significant focus on it and Europe, where 75% of trade occurs within the EU, yielding high profits.

6. Rubber

There is a growing recognition of the strength of the African region in rubber production, as most countries still have vast undeveloped areas conducive to the growth of natural rubber.

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