SA recorded a trade surplus of R1.77bn for November, a turnaround from the R5.34bn deficit recorded in November 2014, according to figures released by the SA Revenue Service (SARS) today.

The cumulative deficit for 2015 of R58.18bn is 42.1% less than in the same period last year, when it was R100.48bn.

The news had little effect on the rand, which has weakened by 0.86% against the dollar today, to a current level of R15.4268.

SARS said the figures, which include trade with Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia and Swaziland (BLNS), showed exports rose 10.3% or R8.86bn between October and November while imports fell by 13.5% or R14.51bn.

The biggest increases in exports were of precious metals and stones, up 51.7% or R6.64bn, and vehicle and transport equipment, up 16.3% or R1.83bn. The biggest decreases in imports were of machinery and electronics, down 13.8% or R3.9bn, and of equipment components, down 45.1% or R3.87bn.

SARS has revised upwards the October deficit by R0.21bn to R21.60bn.

Excluding trade with BLNS countries, SA recorded a R7.45bn trade deficit for November and has a cumulative deficit of R155.74bn for the 11 months, compared with R196.53bn in the same period last year.