Exports dropped by 3 percent month-over-month to AUD 40.98 billion in August.
Sales of non-rural goods contracted 4 percent to AUD 26.61 billion, mainly dragged down by metal ores and minerals (-10 percent) and coal, coke and briquettes (-4 percent). Also, exports of non-monetary gold tumbled 22 percent to AUD 2.14 billion. In contrast, outbound shipments of rural goods rose 1 percent to AUD 3.78 billion, led by meat and meat preparations (5 percent) and other rural (3 percent). In addition, sales of net exports of goods under merchanting went jumped 25 percent to AUD 15 million. Exports of services grew by 1 percent to AUD 8.45 billion, mostly driven by travel (1 percent) and other services (1 percent).
Imports fell 0.4 percent to AUD 35.06 billion. Purchases of consumption goods fell by 1 percent to AUD 8.70 billion, largely due to consumption goods n.e.s (-1 percent). Also, imports of capital goods decreased by 2 percent to AUD 6.01 billion, mostly driven by machinery and industrial equipment (-5 percent). Additionally, purchases of intermediate and other merchandise goods shrank by 4 percent to AUD 10.60 billion, weighed down by fuels and lubricants (-7 percent) and processed industrial supplies n.e.s (-4 percent). On the other hand, purchases of non-monetary gold surged 40 percent to AUD 1.1 billion, and those of services expanded 2 percent, boosted by maintenance and repair services n.i.e, which up AUD 119 million and travel (1 percent).
Considering the first eight months of 2019, the trade surplus soared to AUD 46.8 billion from AUD 11.7 billion in the corresponding period the prior year.