Australia's Trade Surplus Lowest in 6 Months In April


Australia's trade surplus narrowed 82.5 percent to AUD 0.555 billion in April of 2017 from an upwardly revised AUD 3.169 billion in March. The figure came in below market expectations of AUD 1.95 billion after a cyclone in Queensland sharply reduced exports of coal.

Compared to the prior month, sales of goods and services decreased by 8 percent to AUD 30.59 billion. It is the biggest decline since April of 2015.

Rural goods fell 2 percent to AUD 4 billion, mainly due to a 6 percent decline in sugar, sugar preparations & honey and a 6 percent decline in cereal grains & cereal preparations.

Exports of non-rural goods (bulk commodities and non-bulk commodities) were down 12 percent to AUD 18.59 billion, driven by a 45 percent drop in coal, coke & briquettes.

Partially offsetting these declines were other non-rurals, including sugar & beverages (+26 percent) and metals excluding non-monetary gold (+7 percent).

Non-monetary gold (gold which is not owned by monetary authorities and can be in the form of bullion, including coins, ingots or bar with a purity at least 995 parts per thousand) tumbled 20 percent to AUD 1.47 billion.

Exports of services went up AUD 156 million, or 2 percent, to AUD 6.42 billion. The main component contributing to the rise was maintainence & repair services (+33 percent).  

Imports of goods and services in April edged down 1 percent to AUD 30.04 billion. Imports of non-monetary gold declined the most by 27 percent to AUD 415 million, followed by intermediate and other merchandise goods (-2 percent, driven by a 19 percent fall in fuel & lubricants and a 9 percent fall in other merchandise goods). In contrast, capital goods rose 2 percent, due to purchases of civil aircraft & confidentialised items (+46 percent) and telecommunications equipment (+16 percent).

Imports of services rose AUD 152 million to AUD 6.444 billion. The main component contributing to the rise was "other services" (+3 percent).

Considering January to April 2017, the trade surplus was recorded at AUD 9.5 billion.

ABS | Charles | charles@tradingeconomics.com
6/8/2017 11:57:52 AM