Australia Trade Surplus Smallest in 3 Months


Australia's trade surplus unexpectedly narrowed 48 percent to AUD 0.46 billion in July of 2017 from an upwardly revised AUD 0.89 billion in June while market estimated AUD 0.88 billion. It was the smallest trade surplus in three months, as exports fell 2 percent from a month earlier to AUD 31.07 billion and imports declined by 1 percent to AUD 30.61 billion.

Compared to the prior month, sales of goods and services declined by 2 percent to AUD 31.07 billion in July.

Exports of non-rural goods (bulk commodities and non-bulk commodities) fell 3 percent to AUD 18.9 billion, mainly due to other mineral fuels (-12 percent); metal ores and minerals (-2.0 percent) and coal, coke and briquettes (-2.0 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) dropped by  17 percent to AUD 1.59 billion. Meantime, net exports of goods under merchanting fell by 15 percent to AUD 22 million.

Exports of rural goods rose 2 percent to AUD 4.26 billion, driven by other rural (6 percent) and wool and sheepskins (26 percent). Partly offsetting this rise were cereal grains and cereal preparations (-13.0 percent).

Exports of services went up 3 percent  to AUD 6.31 billion mainly due to travel (3 percent).

Imports of goods and services declined by 1 percent to AUD 30.61 billion.

Purchases of consumption goods decreased by 2.0 percent to AUD 8.38 billion. The main components contributing to the fall were: consumption goods n.e.s (-2 percent); textile, clothing, footwear (-3 percent) and toys, books and leisure goods (-5. percent).

Purchases of capital goods went down 2 percent to AUD 6.34 billion, mainly driven by civil aircraft and confidentialised items (-41 percent) and machinery and industrial equipment (-5 percent). Partly offsetting these falls was capital goods n.e.s (23 percent).

Imports of intermediate and other merchandise goods fell 1 percent to AUD 9.0 billion. The main component contributing to the fall was processed industrial supplies n.e.s (-3 percent); parts for transport equipment (-6 percent), other parts for capital goods (-3 percent) and other merchandise goods (-62 percent). Partly offsetting this fall were fuels and lubricants (6 percent).

Imports of non-monetary gold fell by 17 percent to AUD 459 million.

Imports of services rose 1 percent to  AUD 6.43 billion. The main component contributing to the rise were maintenance and repair services n.i.e.(48 percent) and travel (1 percent). 

Considering January to July 2017, trade surplus came in at AUD 10.69 billion.

ABS l Rida Husna | rida@tradingeconomics.com
9/7/2017 2:01:08 PM