Australia's trade surplus narrowed to AUD 4.94 billion in March 2019 from an upwardly revised of AUD 5.14 billion in the previous month, but easily beating market consensus of AUD 4.25 billion surplus. Export fell 2 percent month-over-month to AUD 39.34 billion while imports dropped at a softer 1 percent to AUD 34.39 billion.
Exports dropped 2 percent month-over-month to AUD 39.34 billion in March. Sales of non-rural goods declined 1 percent to AUD 25.58 billion, dragged by metal ores and minerals (-12 percent) and other mineral fuels (-1 percent). Additionally, sales of non-monetary gold plunged 31 percent to AUD 1.39 billion. Meantime, exports of services remained steady at AUD 8.16 billion. In contrast, sales of rural goods rose 3 percent to AUD 4.20 billion, due to meat and meat preparations (8 percent) and wool and sheepskins (8 percent). Also, net exports of goods under merchanting increased 10 percent to AUD 11 million.
Imports shrank 1 percent to AUD 34.39 billion, as purchases of consumption goods fell 3 percent to AUD 8.61 billion, mainly non-industrial transport equipment (-15 percent), and textiles, clothing and footwear (-3 percent). In addition, imports of capital goods dropped 5 percent to AUD 6.15 billion, mainly driven by industrial transports equipment n.e.s (-26 percent); and machinery and industrial transport equipment (-10 percent). Also, purchases of services decreased 1 percent to AUD 8.37 billion, dragged down by travel (-3 percent) and transport (-1 percent). Conversely, imports of intermediate and other merchandise goods rose 2 percent to AUD 10.81 billion, in particular fuels and lubricants (12 percent), and other parts for capital goods (2 percent). Additionally, purchases of non-monetary gold went up 5 percent to AUD 450 million.
Considering the first three month of the year, the trade surplus surged to AUD 14.74 billion from AUD 3.83 billion in the corresponding period of the prior year.
5/7/2019 11:00:33 AM