Australia records its ninth consecutive trade surplus in November 2011

Media release from the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade

5 January 2012

Australia continued its strong trade performance in November last year, recording a $1.4 billion surplus. It was the ninth consecutive monthly trade surplus for Australia a solid performance in the face of continuing global economic uncertainty.

The November surplus, released today by the Australian Bureau of Statistics in its monthly International Trade in Goods and Services series, was similar to October's trade surplus, with exports up 0.2 per cent and imports up 0.4 per cent.

A rise in exports of non-monetary gold (32 per cent), partially offset by lower exports of metal ores and minerals, was largely responsible for the rise in total exports.

Exports of manufactured goods increased 4 per cent, with exports of transport equipment up 10 per cent. Rural exports rose 1 per cent, with shipments of cereal grains and preparations up 16 per cent.

Exports of metal ores and minerals fell 4 per cent in November, as shipments of iron ores and concentrates fell 22 per cent on lower volumes and prices.

Australia's merchandise exports to North Asia were down 8 per cent in November, although a 7 per cent increase in total exports to the Republic of Korea was driven by a sharp rise in coal exports.

Services exports fell 2 per cent and services imports rose 1 per cent in November.

The rise in total goods and services imports was driven by a 6 per cent rise in capital goods imports.

Graph: Australia's trade balance to November 2011