There is currently US$ 34.4 billion worth of untapped export potential in South Africa, according to the International Trade Centre’s (ITC) export potential map.
The export map takes into account the supply, demand and ease of trade of a product to a specific target market in order to determine a country’s potential exports.
Key findings of the map point to ferrochrome as a product with the greatest export potential in the country, followed by automobile piston engines (carrying the strongest demand potential in the world).
And while actual exports of ferrochrome from SA are valued at US$ 3 billion, according to the map, there is still untapped export potential of US$ 801.2 million in the sector. China, Japan and Korea were highlighted as markets with the greatest potential for South African exports of ferrochrome.
The local production of the product creates five times more value in the South African economy than chrome ore extraction and three times more jobs, according to steel market research company Heinz Pariser’s (now Roskill Pariser) Alloy Metals and Steel Market Research director, Gerhard Pariser.
He noted recently that for every ton of ferrochrome exported, R9 000 was added to South Africa’s gross domestic product (GDP) compared with only R1 600 for every ton of ore exported.