Top South African Imports from the World
In 2016, South Africa bought US$74.7 billion worth of imported products down by -28.2% since 2012 and down by -6.1% from 2015 to 2016.
Top 10 South Africa Imports from China

China's exports to South Africa amounted to
$13.5 billion or 18.1% of its overall imports.

  1. Electronic equipment: $3.4 billion
  2. Machinery: $2.7 billion
  3. Footwear: $500.1 million
  4. Plastics: $450.2 million
  5. Knit or crochet clothing: $411.4 million
  6. Clothing (not knit or crochet): $409.9 million
  7. Organic chemicals: $346.9 million
  8. Furniture, lighting, signs: $344.5 million
  9. Iron or steel products: $340.8 million
10. Iron and steel: $316.6 million
Top 10 South Africa Imports from Germany

Germany's exports to South Africa amounted to
$8.8 billion or 11.8% of its overall imports.

  1. Vehicles: $1.5 billion
  2. Machinery: $1.4 billion
  3. Electronic equipment: $561.6 million
  4. Medical, technical equipment: $288.9 million
  5. Plastics: $282.5 million
  6. Pharmaceuticals: $242.9 million
  7. Other chemical goods: $161.6 million
  8. Paper: $131.3 million
  9. Iron or steel products: $106.6 million
10. Rubber: $96.6 million
Top 10 South Africa Imports from the US

America's exports to South Africa amounted to
$5 billion or 6.7% of its overall imports.

  1. Machinery: $1 billion
  2. Vehicles: $473.8 million
  3. Medical, technical equipment: $461.8 million
  4. Aircraft, spacecraft: $452.4 million
  5. Electronic equipment: $375.5 million
  6. Other chemical goods: $253 million
  7. Pharmaceuticals: $245.2 million
  8. Plastics: $149.9 million
  9. Mineral fuels including oil: $137.2 million
10. Live trees and plants: $127.6 million
Top 10 South Africa Imports from India

India's exports to South Africa amounted to
$3.1 billion or 4.2% of its overall imports.

  1. Mineral fuels including oil: $703.9 million
  2. Vehicles: $589.7 million
  3. Pharmaceuticals: $364.7 million
  4. Machinery: $168.3 million
  5. Organic chemicals: $134.1 million
  6. Cereal, milk preparations: $116.7 million
  7. Electronic equipment: $86.9 million
  8. Gems, precious metals: $61.8 million
  9. Iron or steel products: $58.7 million
10. Plastics: $54.7 million
Top 10 South Africa Imports from Saudi

Saudi Arabia's exports to South Africa amounted to $2.8 billion or 3.8% of its overall imports.

  1. Mineral fuels including oil: $2.5 billion
  2. Plastics: $130 million
  3. Organic chemicals: $108.2 million
  4. Fertilizers: $59.4 million
  5. Other chemical goods: $18.1 million
  6. Inorganic chemicals: $15.2 million
  7. Felt, yarn, twine, cordage: $10.2 million
  8. Salt, sulphur, stone, cement: $9.6 million
  9. Cereal, milk preparations:$4.9 million
10. Paper: $3.3 million
Top 10 South Africa Imports from Japan

Japan's exports to South Africa amounted to
$2.6 billion or 3.4% of its overall imports.

  1. Live trees and plants: $670.2 million
  2. Vehicles: $655.5 million
  3. Machinery: $496 million
  4. Electronic equipment: $145.2 million
  5. Rubber: $98.3 million
  6. Medical, technical equipment: $85.2 million
  7. Iron and steel: $75.4 million
  8. Other chemical goods: $47 million
  9. Plastics: $31.2 million
10. Stone, plaster, cement: $27.9 million
Top 10 South Africa Imports from France

France's exports to South Africa amounted to
$2.2 billion or 3% of its overall imports.

  1. Aircraft, spacecraft: $469.4 million
  2. Machinery: $351.3 million
  3. Pharmaceuticals: $223.3 million
  4. Electronic equipment: $191.8 million
  5. Vehicles: $106.4 million
  6. Other chemical goods: $95 million
  7. Perfumes, cosmetics: $93.1 million
  8. Plastics: $83.4 million
  9. Medical, technical equipment: $69.3 million
10. Beverages: $63.7 
Top 10 South Africa Imports from the UK

United Kingdom's exports to South Africa amounted to $2.2 billion or 2.9% of its overall imports.

  1. Machinery: $365.8 million
  2. Vehicles: $292.8 million
  3. Mineral fuels including oil: $198.8 million
  4. Beverages: $148.3 million
  5. Electronic equipment: $142.5 million
  6. Live trees and plants: $110.5 million
  7. Medical, technical equipment: $98.4 million
  8. Pharmaceuticals: $94.4 million
  9. Plastics: $66.2 million
10. Other chemical goods: $55 million
Top 10 South Africa Imports from Thailand

Thailand's exports to South Africa amounted to
$2.2 billion or 2.9% of its overall imports.

  1. Cereal, milk preparations: $230.6 million
  2. Vehicles: $186.4 million
  3. Machinery: $165.9 million
  4. Electronic equipment: $108.3 million
  5. Plastics: $75.6 million
  6. Rubber: $62.7 million
  7. Meat, seafood preparations: $58.2 million
  8. Organic chemicals: $43.9 million
  9. Iron or steel products: $34.2 million
10. Furniture, lighting, signs: $21.3 million
Top 10 South Africa Imports from Nigeria

Nigeria's exports to South Africa amounted to
$2.1 billion or 2.8% of its overall imports.

  1. Mineral fuels including oil: $2.1 billion
  2. Fertilizers: $2.7 million
  3. Rubber: $2.7 million
  4. Cocoa: $2.1 million
  5. Aluminum: $1.9 million
  6. Feathers, artificial flowers, hair:$1.4 million
  7. Food waste, animal fodder: $748,000
  8. Lead: $725,000
  9. Electronic equipment: $703,000
10. Machinery: $418,000
Top 10 South Africa Imports from Italy

Italy's exports to South Africa amounted to
$1.8 billion or 2.5% of its overall imports.

  1. Machinery: $536.1 million
  2. Electronic equipment: $197.1 million
  3. Vehicles: $142.7 million
  4. Plastics: $88 million
  5. Pharmaceuticals: $85.6 million
  6. Medical, technical equipment: $69.6 million
  7. Iron or steel products: $50.1 million
  8. Live trees and plants: $41.7 million
  9. Footwear: $40.4 million
10. Paper: $39.1 million
Fastest-Growing South African Imports 2016
Research Note: 
Import numbers rarely match the source exporters’ stats. Reasons for import-export statistical discrepancies include re-exports, time lags, misallocations, distinct trade reporting systems, different quantity measurements and country confidentiality rules. Also, transportation and insurance costs are sometimes added to import totals.
Site Index
S. Africa Exports
S. Africa Imports
Top Turkey Exports
Top Turkey Imports

Data source: Trade Map, International Trade Centre, www.intracen.org/marketanalysis