In 2017 South Africa exported 1,184 tons of rusks, Wandile Sihlobo, an economist with an uncanny knack for spotting the weirdness in trade statistics, pointed out in a tweet on Thursday.

The total number is already something of an eye-popper; the equivalent in weight of around 650 average cars – in rusks.

But there are other peculiarities in the data too – such as Namibia's enormous hunger for South African rusks. The sparsely-populated country imported around a kilogram of rusks for every seven people.

Namibia's closest rival in rusk hunger was Botswana, which imported a kilogram of rusks for around every 13 people, and after that there is comparatively very limited commitment to SA rusks.

Between them, Namibia and Botswana were responsible for nearly half SA's exports in 2017, followed by Australia and the United Kingdom (at 11% of total exports each) before neighbouring countries appear in the list again.

This is how the top ten importers of South African rusks in 2017 stacked up.

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