Australia Trade Surplus Larger than Expected in August


Australia's trade surplus widened 22.4 percent to AUD 0.99 billion in August of 2017 from an upwardly revised AUD 0.81 billion in July and above market expectations of AUD 0.88 billion.

Exports of goods and services rose 1 percent to AUD 32.23 billion in August from AUD 32.06 billion in July. Sales of non-rural goods (bulk commodities and non-bulk commodities) rose 2 percent to AUD 19.37 billion, mainly due to metal ores and minerals (10 percent), machinery (5 percent) and goods procured in ports by carriers (5 percent). Partly offsetting this rise was metals, excluding non-monetary gold (-12 percent) and coal, coke and briquettes (-3 percent). Exports of non-monetary 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 19 percent to AUD 1.28 billion. Meantime, net exports of goods under merchanting were unchanged at  AUD 47 million. Exports of rural goods went down 1 percent to AUD 4.16 billion, driven by wool and sheepskins (-4 percent) and other rural (-1 percent).

Exports of services rose 1 percent  to AUD 7.36 billion, mainly due to travel (2 percent).
 
Imports of goods and services were almost unchanged from the previous month at AUD 31.24 billion. Purchases of consumption goods decreased by 4 percent to AUD 7.96 billion. The main components contributing to the fall were: food and beverages mainly for consumption (-8 percent); non-industrial transport equipment (-6 percent); household electrical items (-4 percent); consumption goods n.e.s (-2 percent); textiles, clothing; footwear (-1 percent), and toys, books and leisure goods (-1 percent). Purchases of capital goods declined 3 percent to AUD 6.12 billion, mainly due to a falls in imports of civil aircraft and confidentialised items (-9 percent); telecomunicatins equipment (-7 percent); ADP equipment (-4 percent); industrial transport equipment (-4 percent), and capital goods n.e.s (-6 percent). Partly offsetting these falls was machinery and industrial equipment (6 percent). Meanwhile, imports of intermediate and other merchandise goods increased 4 percent to AUD 9.37 billion. The main components contributing to the rise were fuels and lubricants (11 percent); primary industrial supplies n.e.s (10 percent); processed industrial supplies n.e.s (3 percent); food and beverages, mainly for industry (3 percent); and other parts for capital goods (3 percent). Partly offsetting this increase were parts for ADP equipment (-2 percent); and organic and inorganic chemicals (-19 percent). Imports of non-monetary gold fell by 2 percent to AUD 450 million.
 
Imports of services rose 1 percent to AUD 7.35 billion. The main components contributing to the increase were maintenance and repair services n.i.e.(41 percent) and travel (1 percent).
 
Considering January to August 2017, the trade balance posted a AUD 12.27 billion surplus, compared with a AUD 19.66 billion deficit in the same period of 2016.

Australian Bureau of Statistics l Chusnul Ch Manan | chusnul@tradingeconomics.com
10/5/2017 8:47:59 AM