Brexit: These are the South African winners and losers based on current trade data
- The UK and EU have reportedly reached a Brexit deal.
- The pound immediately surged on the news.
- These are the South African industries that will benefit from higher export prices – and the ones that will suffer the higher price of imports.
- For more stories go to the Business Insider South Africa homepage.
Just as hopes of a Brexit deal between the United Kingdom and European Union started to wane on Thursday, news came that a deal had been struck.
The agreement will see the British territory of Northern Ireland remain in the same customs area as the EU – which means there will be no need for customs checks on the land borderer between Northern Ireland and the Irish republic with which it shares an island.
Customs checks will instead have to happen on the Irish Sea, for goods that travel between Northern Ireland and the rest of the United Kingdom.
Even though British parliamentarians still have to vote on the deal, the pound immediately jumped on the news, and by early Thursday afternoon the currency seemed to be on track for record gains.
These are the the South African industries that will feel the biggest immediate impact from a stronger pound on the back of a Brexit deal.
The winners: mining, carmakers, and vegetable farmers
The United Kingdom is a major trading partner for South Africa across several industries, but exports are dominated by three sectors: precious metals, vehicles and vessels, and vegetables.
According to customs and excise duty from the SA Revenue Service, precious metal exports to the UK totalled R16.6 billion between January and August this year. Vehicle exports came to R12.1 billion, and vegetables to the value of R5.2 billion were exported.
No other industry had exported more than R2 billion of goods to the UK; the category of "prepared foodstuffs" came closest at R1.9 billion.
The losers: paper and machinery
Imports from the UK to South Africa are relatively small; while exports between January and August came to R42.7 billion, imports had reached only R26.7 billion.
The biggest import by a considerable margin so far this year has been in paper and wood pulp, which has been worth R8.1 billion. The next biggest import has been machinery worth R4.6 billion.
At number three on the list is vehicles and vessels – the same industry that ranks high on exports – thanks to car parts brought to South African factories for assembly.
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