In February, exports were flat on the month at AUD 34.23 billion. Sales of rural goods rose by 17 percent to AUD 3.88 billion, mainly due to other rural (34 percent) and wool and sheepskins (25 percent). Also, exports of services went up by 1 percent to AUD 7.22 billion, due to travel sales (1 percent) and other services (1 percent). On the other hand, sales of non-rural goods fell AUD 90 million to AUD 21.42 billion, mainly due to trasport equipment (-36 percent) and other manunufactures (-7 percent). In addition, sales of non-monetary gold fell by 23 percent to AUD 1.69 billion. Meantime, net exports of goods under merchanting remained steady at AUD 7 million.
Imports were unchanged at AUD 33.41 billion. Purchases of consumption goods increased by 7 percent to AUD 8.95 billion, driven by non-industrial transport equipment (20 percent); textiles, clothing and footwear (6 percent) and food and beverages, mainly for consumption (4 percent). Also, imports of capital goods grew by 1 percent to AUD 6.21 billion, supported by machinery and industrial equipment (15 percent) and industrial transport equipment n.e.s (12 percent). In addition, purchases of non-monetary gold rose by 17 percent to AUD 480 million. Imports of services went up by 1 percent to AUD 7.81 billion, mainly due to travel purchases (1 percent) and transport (2 percent). On the other hand, imports of intermediate and other merchandise goods fell by 6 percent to AUD 9.96 billion, driven by fuels and lubricants (-19 percent).
Considering January to February 2018, the trade surplus came in at AUD 1.78 billion, down sharply from AUD 4.74 billion surplus in the same period the prior year.