Trade surplus jumps on coal,iron ore backing

AUSTRALIA posted its largest monthly trade surplus in 11 years in September, increasing to $A1.46 billion, on the back of strong exports of coal and iron ore.
Trade surplus jumps on coal,iron ore backing Trade surplus jumps on coal,iron ore backing Trade surplus jumps on coal,iron ore backing Trade surplus jumps on coal,iron ore backing Trade surplus jumps on coal,iron ore backing

 

Claire Svircas

The Australian Bureau of Statistics reported the surplus was the second biggest monthly trade surplus on record since June 1997, when the trade surplus was $1.54 billion.

The sum of the seasonally adjusted balances for the three months to September 2008 was a surplus of $2.15 billion, a turnaround of $3.2 billion on the deficit of $1.09 billion for the three months to June 2008.

The value of exports rose by 8% to $26.5 billion and imports jumped 7% to $25 billion, offsetting a slump in consumer and business spending that threatens to tip Australia's economy into a recession.

The main components contributing to the export rise in the seasonally adjusted estimates were metal ores and minerals, up $941 million; coal, coke and briquettes, up $626 million; and other manufactures, up $60 million.

The report showed shipments of metal ores including iron surged 19% and coal gained 14%.

In seasonally adjusted terms, exports of non-rural goods rose $1.6 billion, or 10%, to $17.9 billion.

Partly offsetting these increases was the machinery component, with exports down $42 million.

In seasonally adjusted terms, imports of intermediate and other merchandise goods rose $1.13 billion, or 13%, to $9.58 billion with fuels and lubricants the main components contributing to the rise, up $547million.

However, the ABS report speculates a general weakening of imports and exports in tandem with the domestic economy will test the trade balance in the first half of 2009.

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