Australia Trade Surplus Largest in 2 Years
Australia's trade surplus widened sharply to AUD 3.68 billion in December 2018 from an upwardly revised of AUD 2.26 billion, easily beating market consensus of a surplus of AUD 2.3 billion. It was the largest trade surplus since December 2016, as exports fell by 2 percent to AUD 37.92 billion, while imports declined at a faster 6 percent to AUD 34.24 billion.
2/5/2019 11:24:09 AM
Exports dropped by 2 percent month-over-month to AUD 37.92 billion in December. Sales of non-monetary gold tumbled 57 percent to AUD 790 million. In addition, net exports of goods under merchanting fell by 3 percent to AUD 36 million. In contrast, sales of rural goods increased 10 percent to AUD 4.06 billion, led by cereal grains and cereal preparations (65 percent) and other rural (3 percent). Also, non-rural goods rose by AUD 33 million to AUD 25.06 billion, mainly due to transport equipment (124 percent) and metals (12 percent). Exports of services went up AUD 16 million to AUD 7.98 billion, mainly driven by tourism and related services.
Imports shrank 6 percent to AUD 34.24 billion, mostly due to lower purchases of consumption goods (-7 percent to AUD 8.37 billion), driven by non-industrial transport equipment (-25 percent); consumption goods n.e.s., (-2 percent); and toys, books and leisure goods (-9 percent). Also, imports of capital goods slumped 15 percent to AUD 5.86 billion, due to civil aircraft and confidentialised items (-61 percent); capital goods n.e.s., (-18 percent); machinery and industrial equipment (-8 percent); and industrial transport equipment n.e.s., (-11 percent). At the same time, purchases of intermediate and other merchandise goods shrank 6 percent to AUD 10.99 billion, led by fuels and lubricants (-8 percent); processed industrial supplies n.e.s., (-6 percent); and other parts for capital goods (-8 percent). Conversely, imports of non-monetary gold jumped 45 percent to AUD 518 million. In addition, purchases of services rose by 3 percent to AUD 8.51 billion, mainly supported by travel (6 percent).
Considering 2018 the whole year, the trade surplus surged to AUD 22.15 billion from AUD 9.87 billion in the same period of 2017.