Australia's Trade Surplus Drops in December


In seasonally adjusted terms, the balance on goods and services was a surplus of $1,981m in December 2010, a decrease of $97m on the surplus in November 2010.

In seasonally adjusted terms, exports rose $85m to $24,579m. Non-rural goods rose $227m (1%), rural goods rose $21m (1%) and net exports of goods under merchanting rose $1m (25%). Non-monetary gold fell $118m (10%). Services credits fell $46m (1%).

The main components contributing to the rise in exports were: wool and sheepskins, up $47m (20%); meat and meat preparations, up $34m (6%). Partly offsetting these increases was the cereal grains and cereal preparations component, down $37m (6%).

In seasonally adjusted terms, imports rose $182m (1%) to $22,598m. Intermediate and other merchandise goods rose $643m (8%). Non-monetary gold fell $201m (34%), capital goods fell $155m (4%) and consumption goods fell $49m (1%). Services debits fell $57m (1%).

The main components contributing to the fall in the seasonally adjusted estimates were: civil aircraft and confidentialised items, down $73m (12%); machinery and industrial equipment, down $37m (3%); telecommunications equipment, down $28m (5%).

The main components contributing to the rise in the seasonally adjusted estimates were: fuels and lubricants, up $426m (17%), other merchandise goods, up $170m; processed industrial supplies n.e.s., up $48m (3%).

On a recorded trade basis, between November and December 2010, large value increases were recorded for the following selected commodities: iron ore (lump) rose $172m (14%) with exports to Japan up $116m (50%) and China up $58m (8%), driven by increases in volumes of 52% and 5% respectively; iron ore (fines) rose $439m (14%) with exports to China up $276m (11%) and Japan up $105m (27%), driven by increases in volumes of 10% and 23% respectively; hard coking coal fell $99m (5%) with exports to Japan down $70m (14%) driven by a decrease in volume (12%); semi-soft coal rose $39m (6%) with exports to China up $62m, driven by an increase in volume (83%). This was partly offset by a fall in exports to Japan down $43m (15%); bituminous (thermal) coal rose $170m (17%) with exports to Japan up $74m (14%) and China up $65m (52%), driven by increases in volumes of 11% and 48% respectively.


TradingEconomics.com, Australian Bureau of Statistics
2/3/2011 1:11:19 PM