Australia Posts Largest Trade Surplus on Record
Australia's trade surplus surged to AUD 4.80 billion in February 2019 from a downwardly revised of AUD 4.35 billion in the previous month, easily beating market consensus of AUD 3.8 billion surplus. It is the largest trade surplus on record, as exports hit a fresh all-time high and imports fell.
4/3/2019 10:24:30 AM
Exports rose 0.2 percent month-over-month to a fresh record high of AUD 39.83 billion in February
. Sales of non-rural goods rose 0.5 percent to AUD 25.60 billion, driven by metal ores and minerals (11 percent) and other mineral fuels (2 percent). Also, exports of services went up 2 percent to AUD 8.12 billion, led by travel (2 percent). In contrast, sales of rural goods dropped 1 percent to AUD 4.1 billion, due to cereal grains and cereal preparations (-6 percent) and wool and sheepskins (-6 percent). Additionally, sales of non-monetary gold fell 7 percent to AUD 2.02 billion. Meantime, net exports of goods under merchanting remained steady at AUD 10 million.
Imports shrank 1 percent to AUD 35.03 billion, as purchases of intermediate and other merchandise goods fell 4 percent to AUD 10.6 billion, namely fuels and lubricants (-11 percent). In addition, imports of capital goods contracted 2 percent to AUD 6.44 billion, mainly driven by ADP equipment (-22 percent) and civil aircraft and confidentialised items (-19 percent). Also, purchses of non-monetary gold declined 5 percent to AUD 430 million. Conversely, imports of consumption goods rose AUD 12 million to AUD 8.93 billion, in particular non-industrial transport equipment (18 percent). At the same time, purchases of services grew 3 percent to AUD 8.63 billion, boosted by travel (4 percent).
Considering the first two months of the year, the trade surplus soared to AUD 9.15 billion from AUD 2.72 billion in the corresponding period the prior year.