Trade Surplus Lifts Again

By Glenn Dyer | More Articles by Glenn Dyer

While Australian recorded another $8 billion-plus trade surplus for the month of June, there was a never seen before 60% plus surge in the size of the surplus for the financial year to June 30.

For the financial to year to June, the Australian Bureau of Statistics said yesterday the surplus was a record of more $77.4 billion (In original terms, not seasonally adjusted).

That was up $28.3 billion on the surplus of $49.1 billion surplus recorded in the 2018-19 financial year which was the previous record. It was a factor of 10 times the $7.6 billion surplus recorded for 2017-18.

That resulted from a $22.4 billion (5%) drop in imports (especially from December to May)and a small $5.9 billion (1%) increase in exports which were held up by the continuing surge in iron ore exports which topped $100 billion in 2019-20.

For the June quarter the surplus totalled more than $23.4 billion, up 20% from the $19.5 billion for the March quarter of this year and 23% up on the $19.2 billion surplus for the final three months of 2018-19.

AMP Chief Economist, Shane Oliver says the “The rise in Australia’s trade surplus to $8.2bn in June from $7.3bn in May reflected a 3% rise in exports driven by a surge in non-monetary gold and continued strength in iron ore exports and a 1% rise in imports.”

He says that while exports fell by 8% in the June quarter, imports fell by 13.7% and so net exports may have contributed around 1 percentage point to June quarter GDP growth.

“The hit to the rest of the economy will have still resulted in a big decline but its more likely to be around -7% or -8% quarter on quarter than say the -9.5% seen in the US or the -12.1% seen in the Eurozone,“ Dr. Oliver wrote yesterday.

Glenn Dyer

About Glenn Dyer

Glenn Dyer has been a finance journalist and TV producer for more than 40 years. He has worked at Maxwell Newton Publications, Queensland Newspapers, AAP, The Australian Financial Review, The Nine Network and Crikey.

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