Australia Confirms Bumper Trade Surplus for 2019

Australia has confirmed a bumper trade surplus of $67.6 billion for the 2019 calendar year according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics in late January.

This represents a 30.2% increase over the following year ($44.7 billion.) The ABS data also shows the bump results from a $54.7 billion (12%) increase in goods and services credits and a $10 billion (2%) increase in goods and services debits.

Goods exports rose 13.4% to a record $391.8 billion and services exports climbed 8.9% to a record $101.1 billion.

This comes on the back of welcome trade surplus news in December 2019, where the nation posted a $21.1 billion surplus for the September 2019 period.

The figures show the export price index of manufactured goods (material) rose by 0.4% r the year from December 2018, while “miscellaneous” manufactured articles rose 3.3% for the year. Falls in iron ore and coal drove down export prices.

This result means Australia has been in trade surplus for 24 consecutive months.

Federal Trade Minister Senator the Hon. Simon Birmingham said of the surplus news in December, “greater export opportunities for Australian farmers and businesses continues to be a major factor in our strong export performance.”

The Minister contends that the Morrison Government’s aggressive free-trade agenda, that has seen Parliament signing-off of agreements with Indonesia, Hong Kong, and Peru, has opened markets for Australian farmers, businesses, and manufacturers.

The government will also pursue free trade agreements with the European Union and now following their exit from the European single market, the United Kingdom.

“By locking in zero or low-tariff access in new markets, our exporters are more internationally competitive and that means more opportunities to sell their high-quality goods and services overseas,” Birmingham further stated.

“Our Government continues to provide more export opportunities through improved global market access.”

“With one in five jobs in Australia trade related, and our Government committed to boosting the number of Australians employed in trade related jobs by an extra 240,000, we’ll continue to deliver more access for our export sector to help further strengthen our economy.”

Birmingham also acknowledged current setbacks, stating “despite these strong results, we are acutely aware of the current domestic and international challenges our economy and exporters face as a result of the drought, coronavirus and bushfires.”

The ABS also stated that “quality assurance undertaken by the [Bureau] confirmed that the bushfires did not result in any impacts to International Trade in Goods and Services statistics for December 2019.”

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