Exports rose 3 percent from a month earlier to an all-time high of AUD 43.22 billion in September. Sales of non-rural goods advanced 2 percent to AUD 27.92 billion, mainly boosted by metals (14 percent), metal ores and minerals (3 percent) and other mineral fuels (8 percent), while declines were seen in coal, coke and briquettes (-6 percent) and other manufactures (-1 percent). Also, exports of non-monetary gold surged 26 percent to AUD 2.69 billion, and shipments of rural goods went up 6 percent to AUD 3.98 billion, led by meat and meat preparations (2 percent) and other rural (6 percent). In addition, sales of services grew 1 percent to AUD 8.61 billion, mostly driven by travel (1 percent) and other services (1 percent).
Imports increased also 3 percent to AUD 36.03 billion, the second-highest on record. Purchases of consumption goods rose 1 percent to AUD 8.76 billion, largely due to consumption goods n.e.s (1 percent), non-industrial transport equipment (2 percent), and textiles, clothing and footwear (4 percent). Food and beverages, however, fell 4 percent. Also, imports of capital goods jumped 12 percent to AUD 6.75 billion, mostly driven by telecommunications equipment (10 percent) and capital goods n.e.s (80 percent) while machinery and industrial equipment imports dropped 3 percent. Additionally, purchases of intermediate and other merchandise goods increased 4 percent to AUD 11.06 billion, boosted by fuels and lubricants (8 percent) and processed industrial supplies n.e.s (7 percent). Conversely, purchases of non-monetary gold tumbled 34 percent to AUD 0.73 billion, while those of services were unchanged at AUD 8.74 billion.
Considering the first nine months of 2019, the trade surplus soared to AUD 54.36 billion from AUD 14.08 billion in the corresponding period the prior year.