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South Africa

Business conditions are quiet under the effects of higher interest rates, reduced demand and load shedding. The last of these is still occurring on a daily basis and is continuing to affect the economy, especially manufacturing industries and distribution. Furthermore, public utility Eskom is still struggling with maintenance and breakdowns at its power stations.   

South Africa’s central bank increased the interest rate by 50 basis points in May and the expectation for the July meeting is for a further rise of either 25 or 50 basis points.  

The ban on exports of copper, brass, gunmetal and ferrous scrap from South Africa has been extended for a further six months until the end of 2023. Aluminium and stainless steel scrap can still be exported through the International Trade Administration Commission but export permits will be granted only if there are no objections from local consumers. Even when a permit is granted, the export tax must be paid before shipping the material.

Inflation is currently at 6.8% and slowly falling - it is hoped to 6.3% in July. Meanwhile, at the time of writing, the rand is trading at 18.30 to the US dollar.