Top South African Imports from the World
In 2018, South Africa bought US$93.4 billion worth of imported products down by -6.4% since 2014 but up by 12.5% from 2017 to 2018.
Top 10 South Africa Imports from China

China's exports to South Africa amounted to
$17.1 billion or 18.3% of its overall imports.

  1. Electronic equipment: $4.6 billion
  2. Machinery: $3.5 billion
  3. Plastics: $600 million
  4. Footwear: $583.7 million
  5. Organic chemicals: $546.9 million
  6. Vehicles: $501.3 million
  7. Clothing (not knit or crochet): $453.8 million
  8. Iron or steel products: $451 million
  9. Knit or crochet clothing: $443.5 million
10. Furniture, lighting, signs: $397.2 million
Top 10 South Africa Imports from Germany

Germany's exports to South Africa amounted to
$9.2 billion or 9.9% of its overall imports.

  1. Vehicles: $1.5 billion
  2. Machinery: $1.3 billion
  3. Electronic equipment: $437 million
  4. Plastics: $343.8 million
  5. Pharmaceuticals: $335.9 million
  6. Medical, technical equipment: $319.4 million
  7. Other chemical goods: $198.7 million
  8. Paper: $152 million
  9. Organic chemicals: $118.8 million
10. Iron and steel: $113.9 million
Top 10 South Africa Imports from the US

America's exports to South Africa amounted to
$5.5 billion or 5.9% of its overall imports.

  1. Machinery: $1.2 billion
  2. Medical, technical equipment: $487 million
  3. Vehicles: $436.6 million
  4. Electronic equipment: $333.2 million
  5. Aircraft, spacecraft: $328.5 million
  6. Other chemical goods: $320.4 million
  7. Pharmaceuticals: $243.4 million
  8. Mineral fuels including oil: $207.8 million
  9. Plastics: $171.3 million
10. Inorganic chemicals: $116.6 million
Top 10 South Africa Imports from Saudi

Saudi Arabia's exports to South Africa amounted to $5.4 billion or 5.7% of its overall imports.

  1. Mineral fuels including oil: $4.7 billion
  2. Plastics: $233.3 million
  3. Organic chemicals: $157.3 million
  4. Fertilizers: $137.7 million
  5. Aluminum: $35 million
  6. Other chemical goods: $27.2 million
  7. Salt, sulphur, stone, cement: $16 million
  8. Felt, yarn, twine, cordage: $6.4 million
  9. Machinery: $5.6 million
10. Paper: $4.4 million
Top 10 South Africa Imports from India

India's exports to South Africa amounted to
$3.8 billion or 4.1% of its overall imports.

  1. Vehicles: $807.8 million
  2. Pharmaceuticals: $571.8 million
  3. Mineral fuels including oil: $470.3 million
  4. Machinery: $264.6 million
  5. Electronic equipment: $260.6 million
  6. Organic chemicals: $165.6 million
  7. Cereals: $132.6 million
  8. Plastics: $80.1 million
  9. Iron or steel products: $77.5 million
10. Gems, precious metals: $57.3 million
Top 10 South Africa Imports from Nigeria

Nigeria's exports to South Africa amounted to
$3.8 billion or 4.1% of its overall imports.

  1. Mineral fuels including oil: $3.8 billion
  2. Rubber: $10.4 million
  3. Feathers, artificial flowers, hair:$1.1 million
  4. Machinery: $936,000
  5. Coffee, tea, spices: $909,000
  6. Electronic equipment: $600,000
  7. Vegetables: $269,000
  8. Beverages: $248,000
  9. Food waste, animal fodder: $214,000
10. Fruits, nuts: $200,000
Top 10 South Africa Imports from the UK

United Kingdom's exports to South Africa were $3.3 billion or 3.5% of its overall imports.

  1. Books, newspapers, pictures: $874.5 million
  2. Vehicles: $406.8 million
  3. Machinery: $354.5 million
  4. Gems, precious metals: $219.2 million
  5. Beverages: $163.3 million
  6. Electronic equipment: $128.7 million
  7. Medical, technical equipment: $110.4 million
  8. Mineral fuels including oil: $108.3 million
  9. Pharmaceuticals: $101.4 million
10. Plastics: $83.9 million
Top 10 South Africa Imports from Thailand

Thailand's exports to South Africa amounted to
$2.9 billion or 3.1% of its overall imports.

  1. Vehicles: $382.3 million
  2. Cereals: $346.2 million
  3. Machinery: $211.8 million
  4. Electronic equipment: $104.9 million
  5. Meat, seafood preparations: $97.5 million
  6. Plastics: $87 million
  7. Rubber: $63.6 million
  8. Organic chemicals: $51.6 million
  9. Furniture, lighting, signs: $34.1 million
10. Medical, technical equipment: $23.3 million
Top 10 South Africa Imports from Japan

Japan's exports to South Africa amounted to
$2.9 billion or 3.1% of its overall imports.

  1. Vehicles: $693.9 million
  2. Machinery: $623.5 million
  3. Electronic equipment: $144.2 million
  4. Rubber: $106.7 million
  5. Medical, technical equipment: $91.2 million
  6. Iron and steel: $54.7 million
  7. Other chemical goods: $43.5 million
  8. Plastics: $38.7 million
  9. Ceramic products: $35.2 million
10. Tanning, dyeing extracts: $27.3 million
Top 10 South Africa Imports from Italy

Italy's exports to South Africa amounted to
$2.6 billion or 2.8% of its overall imports.

  1. Machinery: $588.4 million
  2. Mineral fuels including oil: $525.4 million
  3. Vehicles: $160.2 million
  4. Electronic equipment: $159.1 million
  5. Pharmaceuticals: $119.8 million
  6. Plastics: $99.6 million
  7. Medical, technical equipment: $72.4 million
  8. Iron or steel products: $61.7 million
  9. Rubber: $53.4 million
10. Paper: $49.5 million
Top 10 South Africa Imports from France

France's exports to South Africa amounted to
$2.1 billion or 2.2% of its overall imports.

  1. Machinery: $308.5 million
  2. Pharmaceuticals: $253 million
  3. Electronic equipment: $153 million
  4. Vehicles: $128.7 million
  5. Plastics: $113.8 million
  6. Perfumes, cosmetics: $109 million
  7. Other chemical goods: $106.2 million
  8. Beverages: $93.9 million
  9. Aircraft, spacecraft: $80.9 million
10. Medical, technical equipment: $74.1 million
Fastest-Growing South African Imports 2018
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