Report on Trade Trends pertaining to HS Code: 841940

“Distilling or Rectifying plant: not for domestic purposes” for the period 1999-2018

Executive Summary

This report is an analysis of imports and exports taking place from 1999-2018 for the Harmonised Tariff Code 841940 which covers “Distilling or rectifying plant: not for domestic purposes”.

This HS code is measured in ‘units’ and during this period 165,663 units were imported into South Africa and 241,180 units were exports from South Africa to the rest of the world.  Our exports exceeded out imports by 31%, and of these exports 93% were exported into the rest of Africa (including Mauritius).

The report details, for both imports and exports, units per annum, units per country, key markets and large volumes that stand out in the statistics.  We have also looked at pricing, but as the unit price varies dependent on size and complexity of the unit, there are huge fluctuations.

This is the first of these reports and they will be compiled on a monthly basis, if there is a particular HS Code you would like analysed please notify me directly.  ( 

Import Trends

During the period of time given above a total of 165,663 units were imported and annual imports are as follows:

By country these imports are:

Of these countries the top eight’s market share is detailed below.

It would seem that many of these imports are project related as large numbers of imports happen in specific years.

  • From China large imports took place in 2013 (3081 units) and in 2016 (9361 units);
  • From Germany large imports took place in 2002 (1802 units), 2007 (3846 units) and in 2012 (6434 units);
  • From Italy large imports took place in 2002 (18771 units) and in 2011 (2418 units);
  • From Korea large imports took place in 2004 (7207 units) and in 2005 (6137 units)’
  • From the Netherlands large imports took place in 2003 (10731 units);
  • From Saudi Arabia large imports took place in 2010 (1094 units) and in 2011 (11022 units);
  • From the UK large imports took place in 2001 (4045 units), 2002 (3464 units) and in 2005 (1740 units);
  • From the USA large imports took place in 2004 (9201 units), 2005 (11601 units) and in 2013 (3100 units).

These large imports account for 80.61% of total unit imports for the period 1999-2018.

During the same period the average price per unit was R44,021.00.

If one looks at the average price per year per unit of imports there is a huge surge in 2009 which has been distorted by 24 units from the UK at an average price per unit of R560,606; 1 unit from Vietnam at R377,768 and 4 units from Spain at an average price per unit of R1,024,628.

If we remove the anomalies of 2009 and substitute with the average price of a unit over the entire period, the graph looks as following:

So obviously the price per unit is dependent on the size and complexity of the unit.

Export Trends

Total unit export during the period 1999 – 2018 were 241,180 units, so our exports exceeded our exports were 31% more that our imports.  Our exports into the rest of Africa (including Mauritius) constitute 93% of total exports.

Annual exports (in units) are as follows:

This graph shows huge exports in 2002, with the export of 113,500 units to Tanzania, and in 2018 with the export of 96,052 units to Lesotho.  These huge exports can be seen in the graph below:

The top four export destination and their relative export market share are shown below, again the two huge exports to Tanzania and Lesotho are prominent.

In terms of export pricing there are large fluctuations, the two big exports to Tanzania in 2002 – 113,500 units at an average price of R5.01 per unit and Lesotho in 2018 – 96,052 at an average price of R31.25 per unit bring the average unit price for the period 1999-2018 down to R726 per unit.  At the other end of the scale the average unit price in 2016 was R214,263.

The 2016 average unit price was due to four unit being exported to the USA at an average unit price of R1,812,851.

Balance of Trade 1999-2018