Compared to the prior month, sales of goods and services decreased by 8 percent to AUD 30.59 billion. It is the biggest decline since April of 2015.
Rural goods fell 2 percent to AUD 4 billion, mainly due to a 6 percent decline in sugar, sugar preparations & honey and a 6 percent decline in cereal grains & cereal preparations.
Exports of non-rural goods (bulk commodities and non-bulk commodities) were down 12 percent to AUD 18.59 billion, driven by a 45 percent drop in coal, coke & briquettes.
Partially offsetting these declines were other non-rurals, including sugar & beverages (+26 percent) and metals excluding non-monetary gold (+7 percent).
Non-monetary gold (gold which is not owned by monetary authorities and can be in the form of bullion, including coins, ingots or bar with a purity at least 995 parts per thousand) tumbled 20 percent to AUD 1.47 billion.
Exports of services went up AUD 156 million, or 2 percent, to AUD 6.42 billion. The main component contributing to the rise was maintainence & repair services (+33 percent).
Imports of goods and services in April edged down 1 percent to AUD 30.04 billion. Imports of non-monetary gold declined the most by 27 percent to AUD 415 million, followed by intermediate and other merchandise goods (-2 percent, driven by a 19 percent fall in fuel & lubricants and a 9 percent fall in other merchandise goods). In contrast, capital goods rose 2 percent, due to purchases of civil aircraft & confidentialised items (+46 percent) and telecommunications equipment (+16 percent).
Imports of services rose AUD 152 million to AUD 6.444 billion. The main component contributing to the rise was "other services" (+3 percent).
Considering January to April 2017, the trade surplus was recorded at AUD 9.5 billion.