Top South African Imports from the World
In 2019, South Africa bought US$88.1 billion worth of imported products up by 3.1% since 2015 but down by -5.7% from 2018 to 2019.
Top 10 South Africa Imports from China

China's exports to South Africa amounted to
$16.3 billion or 18.5% of its overall imports.

  1. Electronic equipment: $4.4 billion
  2. Machinery: $3.4 billion
  3. Footwear: $529.3 million
  4. Organic chemicals: $508.6 million
  5. Plastics: $470 million
  6. Vehicles: $468.6 million
  7. Iron or steel products: $443.8 million
  8. Clothing (not knit or crochet): $436.6 million
  9. Knit or crochet clothing: $435.6 million
10. Furniture, lighting, signs: $386.3 million
Top 10 South Africa Imports from Germany

Germany's exports to South Africa amounted to
$8.8 billion or 10% of its overall imports.

  1. Vehicles: $1.7 billion
  2. Machinery: $1.3 billion
  3. Electronic equipment: $384.3 million
  4. Medical, technical equipment: $317.9 million
  5. Plastics: $303.8 million
  6. Pharmaceuticals: $300.7 million
  7. Other chemical goods: $170.8 million
  8. Paper: $164.3 million
  9. Iron and steel: $117.3 million
10. Organic chemicals: $114.9 million
Top 10 South Africa Imports from the US

America's exports to South Africa amounted to
$5.8 billion or 6.6% of its overall imports.

  1. Machinery: $1.2 billion
  2. Aircraft, spacecraft: $597.6 million
  3. Medical, technical equipment: $483 million
  4. Vehicles: $406.7 million
  5. Mineral fuels including oil: $329.7 million
  6. Other chemical goods: $291.4 million
  7. Electronic equipment: $290.9 million
  8. Pharmaceuticals: $254.7 million
  9. Plastics: $173.6 million
10. Inorganic chemicals: $122.1 million
Top 10 South Africa Imports from India

India's exports to South Africa amounted to
$4.3 billion or 4.9% of its overall imports.

  1. Vehicles: $920.4 million
  2. Mineral fuels including oil: $857.7 million
  3. Pharmaceuticals: $487.6 million
  4. Electronic equipment: $338.4 million
  5. Machinery: $279.8 million
  6. Organic chemicals: $133.9 million
  7. Cereals: $105.8 million
  8. Plastics: $85.6 million
  9. Iron or steel products: $64.4 million
10. Perfumes, cosmetics: $56.2 million
Top 10 South Africa Imports from Saudi

Saudi Arabia's exports to South Africa amounted to
$3.7 billion or 4.2% of its overall imports.

  1. Mineral fuels including oil: $3.2 billion
  2. Plastics: $170.9 million
  3. Organic chemicals: $118.5 million
  4. Fertilizers: $78.9 million
  5. Aluminum: $36.2 million
  6. Other chemical goods: $24.8 million
  7. Salt, sulphur, stone, cement: $12.6 million
  8. Felt, yarn, twine, cordage: $4.3 million
  9. Rubber: $4.1 million
10. Paper: $2.7 million
Top 10 South Africa Imports from Nigeria

Nigeria's exports to South Africa amounted to
$3.5 billion or 4% of its overall imports.

  1. Mineral fuels including oil: $3.5 billion
  2. Fertilizers: $7.1 million
  3. Rubber: $5.3 million
  4. Coffee, tea, spices: $942,000
  5. Machinery: $532,000
  6. Feathers, artificial flowers, hair:$466,000
  7. Vegetables: $460,000
  8. Electronic equipment: $243,000
  9. Oil seed: $242,000
10. Beverages: $222,000
Top 10 South Africa Imports from the UK

United Kingdom's exports to South Africa were
$2.9 billion or 3.2% of its overall imports.

  1. Books, newspapers, pictures: $892.2 million
  2. Machinery: $377.3 million
  3. Vehicles: $287.1 million
  4. Beverages: $174.8 million
  5. Electronic equipment: $120.9 million
  6. Medical, technical equipment: $106.5 million
  7. Pharmaceuticals: $89.4 million
  8. Plastics: $74.6 million
  9. Other chemical goods: $69.4 million
10. Perfumes, cosmetics: $44.8 million
Top 10 South Africa Imports from Japan

Japan's exports to South Africa amounted to
$2.8 billion or 3.2% of its overall imports.

  1. Vehicles: $729.2 million
  2. Machinery: $598.6 million
  3. Electronic equipment: $133.5 million
  4. Medical, technical equipment: $97.6 million
  5. Rubber: $97.2 million
  6. Iron and steel: $56.5 million
  7. Plastics: $40.8 million
  8. Pharmaceuticals: $32 million
  9. Stone, plaster, cement: $31.1 million
10. Other chemical goods: $30.8 million
Top 10 South Africa Imports from Thailand

Thailand's exports to South Africa amounted to
$2.7 billion or 3% of its overall imports.

  1. Cereals: $317.4 million
  2. Vehicles: $282.1 million
  3. Machinery: $185.3 million
  4. Electronic equipment: $101.8 million
  5. Meat, seafood preparations: $97.2 million
  6. Plastics: $70.9 million
  7. Rubber: $67.3 million
  8. Organic chemicals: $60.6 million
  9. Furniture, lighting, signs: $25.4 million
10. Iron or steel products: $22.6 million
Top 10 South Africa Imports from Italy

Italy's exports to South Africa amounted to
$2.2 billion or 2.5% of its overall imports.

  1. Machinery: $602.4 million
  2. Mineral fuels including oil: $228.3 million
  3. Electronic equipment: $160.1 million
  4. Pharmaceuticals: $133.5 million
  5. Vehicles: $130.6 million
  6. Plastics: $92.2 million
  7. Medical, technical equipment: $68.6 million
  8. Iron or steel products: $54.3 million
  9. Paper: $47.6 million
10. Other chemical goods: $45.7 million
Top 10 South Africa Imports from the UAE

United Arab Emirates' exports to South Africa were $2.2 billion or 2.5% of its overall imports.

  1. Mineral fuels including oil: $1.8 billion
  2. Copper: $93.1 million
  3. Gems, precious metals: $54.7 million
  4. Plastics: $33.5 million
  5. Machinery: $31.8 million
  6. Aircraft, spacecraft: $29.7 million
  7. Aluminum: $26.9 million
  8. Salt, sulphur, stone, cement: $19.3 million
  9. Electronic equipment: $19.3 million
10. Beverages: $15.2 million
Fastest-Growing South African Imports 2019
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

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