Imports rose 1 percent from the previous month to an all-time high of AUD 32.48 billion, as purchases rose for: consumption goods (3 percent to AUD 8.55 billion); capital goods (3 percent to AUD 6.37 billion), mainly telecommunications equipment (18 percent to AUD 1.20 billion); and intermediate goods (1 percent to AUD 9.69 billion), mainly processed industrial supplies (3 percent to AUD 2.82 billion). Also, imports of services increased 1 percent to AUD 7.58 billion, mainly due to higher purchases of travel (1 percent to AUD 3.84 billion), transport (1 percent to AUD 1.51 billion) and other services (1 percent to AUD 2.18 billion). By contrast, imports of fuels and lubricants dropped 3 percent to AUD 2.56 billion and those of non-monetary gold fell 25 percent to AUD 301 million.
Meanwhile, exports were unchanged at AUD 31.85 billion. Sales rose for: non-rural goods (2 percent to AUD 19.01 billion), mainly metals (26 percent to AUD 1.00 billion), other mineral fuels (5 percent to AUD 2.75 billion), metal ores and minerals (1 percent to AUD 6.99 billion), and other manufactures (5 percent to AUD 1.70 billion); and rural goods (1 percent to AUD 3.98 billion), mainly other rural (4 percent to AUD 2.02 billion) and wool and sheepskins (6 percent to AUD 393 million). Also, exports of services went up 2 percent to AUD 7.38 billion, due to travel sales (3 percent to AUD 4.92 billion). On the other hand, sales of non-monetary gold dropped 23 percent to AUD 1.44 billion and net exports of goods under merchanting were unchanged at AUD 53 million.
Considering January to November, the trade balance posted a surplus of AUD 12.17 billion, compared to a AUD 18.96 billion deficit in the same period of 2016.