Top South African Imports from the World
In 2017, South Africa bought US$83.2 billion worth of imported products down by -19.5% since 2013 but up by 11.3% from 2016 to 2017.
Top 10 South Africa Imports from China

China's exports to South Africa amounted to
$15.2 billion or 18.3% of its overall imports.

  1. Electronic equipment: $4 billion
  2. Machinery: $3 billion
  3. Footwear: $522.9 million
  4. Plastics: $483.6 million
  5. Clothing (not knit or crochet): $411.2 million
  6. Organic chemicals: $409.3 million
  7. Knit or crochet clothing: $406.5 million
  8. Iron or steel products: $394.6 million
  9. Vehicles: $372.9 million
10. Furniture, lighting, signs: $357.3 million
Top 10 South Africa Imports from Germany

Germany's exports to South Africa amounted to
$9.6 billion or 11.6% of its overall imports.

  1. Vehicles: $1.8 billion
  2. Machinery: $1.4 billion
  3. Electronic equipment: $489.2 million
  4. Plastics: $319.8 million
  5. Medical, technical equipment: $296.8 million
  6. Pharmaceuticals: $260.7 million
  7. Other chemical goods: $189.7 million
  8. Paper: $131.6 million
  9. Rubber: $108.6 million
10. Organic chemicals: $107.3 million
Top 10 South Africa Imports from the US

America's exports to South Africa amounted to
$5.5 billion or 6.6% of its overall imports.

  1. Machinery: $1.2 billion
  2. Aircraft, spacecraft: $518.5 million
  3. Vehicles: $514.9 million
  4. Medical, technical equipment: $459 million
  5. Electronic equipment: $373.6 million
  6. Other chemical goods: $272.9 million
  7. Mineral fuels including oil: $246.7 million
  8. Pharmaceuticals: $233.8 million
  9. Plastics: $166.6 million
10. Inorganic chemicals: $92.3 million
Top 10 South Africa Imports from India

India's exports to South Africa amounted to
$3.9 billion or 4.7% of its overall imports.

  1. Mineral fuels including oil: $927.3 million
  2. Vehicles: $840.4 million
  3. Pharmaceuticals: $493.3 million
  4. Machinery: $203 million
  5. Organic chemicals: $158.2 million
  6. Cereals: $125.8 million
  7. Electronic equipment: $110 million
  8. Plastics: $67.9 million
  9. Iron or steel products: $62.3 million
10. Iron and steel: $55.4 million
Top 10 South Africa Imports from Saudi

Saudi Arabia's exports to South Africa equaled
$3.8 billion or 4.6% of its overall imports.

  1. Mineral fuels including oil: $3.4 billion
  2. Plastics: $174.8 million
  3. Organic chemicals: $117.9 million
  4. Fertilizers: $66 million
  5. Other chemical goods: $20 million
  6. Machinery: $14.8 million
  7. Salt, sulphur, stone, cement: $12.9 million
  8. Inorganic chemicals: $10.3 million
  9. Felt, yarn, twine, cordage: $7.9 million
10. Aluminum: $5.6 million
Top 10 South Africa Imports from Japan

Japan's exports to South Africa amounted to
$2.8 billion or 3.4% of its overall imports.

  1. Vehicles: $760.9 million
  2. Machinery: $608.4 million
  3. Electronic equipment: $156.5 million
  4. Rubber: $103 million
  5. Medical, technical equipment: $86.3 million
  6. Iron and steel: $64.9 million
  7. Other chemical goods: $48.6 million
  8. Plastics: $30.3 million
  9. Stone, plaster, cement: $29.8 million
10. Tanning, dyeing extracts: $27.3 million
Top 10 South Africa Imports from Thailand

Thailand's exports to South Africa amounted to
$2.5 billion or 3.0% of its overall imports.

  1. Cereals: $337.8 million
  2. Vehicles: $280.3 million
  3. Machinery: $189.7 million
  4. Electronic equipment: $106.6 million
  5. Plastics: $88 million
  6. Meat, seafood preparations: $81 million
  7. Rubber: $62.8 million
  8. Organic chemicals: $28.6 million
  9. Furniture, lighting, signs: $25.8 million
10. Iron or steel products: $24.2 million
Top 10 South Africa Imports from the UK

United Kingdom's exports to South Africa equaled
$2.5 billion or 3% of its overall imports.

  1. Vehicles: $403.7 million
  2. Machinery: $382.1 million
  3. Books, newspapers, pictures: $206.6 million
  4. Mineral fuels including oil: $184.2 million
  5. Beverages: $173.6 million
  6. Electronic equipment: $147.4 million
  7. Medical, technical equipment: $102.6 million
  8. Pharmaceuticals: $100.8 million
  9. Plastics: $74.7 million
10. Other chemical goods: $63.9 million
Top 10 South Africa Imports from Italy

Italy's exports to South Africa amounted to
$2.2 billion or 2.7% of its overall imports.

  1. Machinery: $583.7 million
  2. Mineral fuels including oil: $259.5 million
  3. Vehicles: $170.3 million
  4. Electronic equipment: $147.7 million
  5. Pharmaceuticals: $110.8 million
  6. Plastics: $95.3 million
  7. Medical, technical equipment: $72.5 million
  8. Iron or steel products: $56.2 million
  9. Footwear: $43 million
10. Other chemical goods: $42.3 million
Top 10 South Africa Imports from France

France's exports to South Africa amounted to
$2.1 billion or 2.5% of its overall imports.

  1. Machinery: $344.4 million
  2. Pharmaceuticals: $276.9 million
  3. Aircraft, spacecraft: $220.5 million
  4. Electronic equipment: $170.6 million
  5. Vehicles: $121.7 million
  6. Other chemical goods: $121 million
  7. Perfumes, cosmetics: $97.1 million
  8. Plastics: $89.9 million
  9. Medical, technical equipment: $84.7 million
10. Beverages: $69 million
Top 10 South Africa Imports from Nigeria

Nigeria's exports to South Africa amounted to
$1.7 billion or 2.1% of its overall imports.

  1. Mineral fuels including oil: $1.7 billion
  2. Rubber: $8.7 million
  3. Coffee, tea, spices: $1.1 million
  4. Cocoa: $1.1 million
  5. Medical, technical equipment: $460,000
  6. Food waste, animal fodder: $428,000
  7. Machinery: $388,000
  8. Electronic equipment: $315,000
  9. Oil seed: $215,000
10. Beverages: $211,000
Fastest-Growing South African Imports 2017
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