Australia Trade Balance Swings to Surplus in January
Australia posted a trade surplus of AUD 1.06 billion in January 2018, reversing from a downwardly revised AUD 1.11 billion gap in a month earlier and way above market estimates of a AUD 0.3 billion surplus. It was the largest trade surplus since September 2017, as exports jumped 4 percent from a month earlier to AUD 33.92 billion while imports declined by 2 percent to AUD 32.87 billion.
In January, exports rose 4 percent month-on-month to AUD 33.92 billion. Sales of non-rural goods grew 4 percent to AUD 21.03 billion, mainly metal ores and minerals (1 percent), other mineral fuels (9 percent) while those of coal, coke and briquetted were almost similar from a month earlier. Also, exports of non-monetary gold surged (54 percent to AUD 2.20 billion) while services increased 1 percent to AUD 7.24 billion, due to higher travel sales (1 percent). In contrast, exports fell for: rural goods (-8 percent to AUD 3.42 billion), mainly other rural (-13 percent); and net exports of goods under merchanting (-17 percent to AUD 43 million).
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Meantime, imports fell 2 percent to AUD 32.87 billion. Purchases dropped for: intermediate and other merchandise goods (-1 percent to AUD 10.64 billion), mainly fuels and lubricants (-1 percent), parts for transport equipment (-7 percent) and other parts for capital goods (-1 percent), food and beverages mainly for industry (-13 percent), organic and inorganic chemicals (-10 percent), iron and steel (-7 percent). Also, imports declined for consumption goods (-7 percent to AUD 8.37 billion), mainly textiles, clothing and footwear (-14 percent), non industrial transports equipment (-7 percent), and consumption goods n.e.s. (-5 percent); and capital goods (-1 percent to AUD 5.96 billion), mainly machinery and industrial equipment (-4 percent) and telecommunications equipment (-20 percent). In addition, imports of non-monetary gold tumbled by 19 percent to AUD 410 million, while those of services were almost similar from a month earlier at AUD 7.49 billion.