Australia Trade Surplus Narrows More Than Estimated


Australia's trade surplus narrowed 58 percent to AUD 0.86 billion in June of 2017 from a downwardly revised AUD 2.02 billion in May. The figure came in below market expectations of AUD 1.8 billion, as exports fell 1 percent from a month earlier to AUD 31.78 billion while imports rose 2 percent to a record high of AUD 30.92 billion.

Compared to the prior month, sales of goods and services declined by 1 percent to AUD 31.78 billion.

Exports of non-rural goods (bulk commodities and non-bulk commodities) fell 4 percent to AUD 19.57 billion, mainly due to a 7.0 percent drop in metal ores and minerals and a 0.6 percent decrease in coal, coke and briquettes. Partly offsetting these falls was a 14.0 percent rise in transport equipment.

Net exports of goods under merchanting decreased by 4 percent to AUD 26 million.

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) rose 27 percent to AUD 1.92 billion.

Exports of rural goods rose 1 percent to AUD 4.13 billion, driven by a 4.0 percent rise in meat and meat preparations. Partly offsetting this rise was a 8.0 percent decline in wool and sheepskins. 

Exports of services went down 2 percent  to AUD 6.14 billion mainly due to a 3.0 percent decline in travel.

Imports of goods and services rose 2 percent to AUD 30.92 billion, the largest on record.

Purchases of capital goods increased by 13 percent to AUD 6.30 billion. The main components contributing to the rise were telecommunications equipment (78 percent), civil aircraft and confidentialised items (up AUD 402 million) and industrial transport equipment n.e.s., (24 percent). 

Imports of non-monetary gold jumped 76 percent to AUD 551 million.

Purchases of consumption goods went up 2 percent to AUD 8.56 billion, mainly driven by consumption goods n.e.s (7 percent) and food and beverages, mainly for consumption (16 percent). In contrast, purchases of non-industrial transport equipment declined by 7 percent.

Imports of intermediate and other merchandise goods fell 4 percent to AUD 9.20 billion. The main component contributing to the fall in seasonally adjusted estimates was fuels and lubricants (-18 percent). Partly offsetting this fall was processed industrial supplies n.e.s., (2 percent).

Imports of services declined  AUD 30 million to AUD 6.39 billion. The main component contributing to the decline was maintenance and repair services n.i.e.(-36 percent) and travel (-1 percent). Partly offsetting these falls was other services, up AUD 9 million.

Considering January to June 2017, the trade surplus was registered at AUD 10.29 billion.

ABS l Rida Husna | rida@tradingeconomics.com
8/3/2017 10:23:13 AM