Key Products Imported In South Africa

The sophisticated nature of South Africa economy is evident in the balancing of all the sectors which includes both the primary and secondary sector. Even though South Africa has a modern economy where a majority of its income tends to come from the industrial sector, the country has it’s own share of import.

South Africa has one of the largest mining sectors in the whole of Africa and produces several high-quality products such as gold, iron, and steel for export. The rise of the agricultural sector has also seen the number of farms produce exported yearly increase.


However, despite the numbers exported, South Africa is also a major importer of several Products with machinery and equipment taking a larger portion of the total figures. In 2011, the worth of goods imported was said to be over 700 billion rands which were more than the figure recorded the previous year. Over the years, the demand for foreign Products has no doubt increase. However, the demand for one product far out-weighs another.

From Agricultural produce to Aviation, South Africa is one of the best consumers of high-end Products.


Agricultural products

South Africa agricultural sector is no doubt coming of age. It remains the only shining light in the advent of economic recession. It has performed where other sectors have failed. Unfortunately, the sector is still far off from providing all the country’s food needs. Hence, the country has to supplement domestic production with imports, most of which includes diary Products, Forestry Products, and consumer-oriented Products.

With several advancement and support going into the agricultural sector, it’s expected that the import rates will decrease anytime soon. With over $10 billion recorded from agricultural exports in 2018 (during recession), the figure is expected to rise this year.

Pharmaceuticals and chemicals

The pharmaceutical sector is beginning to gather more pace. Over $1 billion worth of pharmaceutical and chemical Products are sold yearly in South Africa, and the market is expected to expand in the coming years.


Due to break out of tuberculosis and malaria in the country, over a million older adults and children are constantly placed under Medication which has no doubt increased the amount spent in the Health sector.

The chemical and pharmaceutical sector is one area the country is lagging behind. the country depends solely on imports for most of it’s petrochemical supply. However, the import of ozone-depleting chemicals is kept under control to prevent environmental degradation.

Hardware And Machinery

Vast majority of South Africa Import is concentrated in this area. Statistics in 2011 suggests this area accounts for over 24% of the total Products imported annually. Machines are imported from all over the world including China, Japan, Korea, and Europe. Vehicles, aircraft, and transport remains  the major equipment imported.

South Africa Economy is just recovering from recession. The days of steady Economic growth is now a thing of ┬áthe past. Hence, the numbers aren’t encouraging at the moment. Fortunately, the worth of goods imported is almost equal to that exported. Hence, there are no trade deficits.