23/01/2009 - 15:08

Export prices post record annual jump

23/01/2009 - 15:08

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The sharp deterioration in the Australian dollar has ensured the country's goods are more competitive on the international front as exports record the largest annual increase in over 34 years.

The sharp deterioration in the Australian dollar has ensured the country's goods are more competitive on the international front as exports record the largest annual increase in over 34 years.

CommSec economist Savanth Sebastian said export prices increased by 15.9 per cent in the quarter to stand 54.9 per cent higher than a year ago, the largest yearly jump on record since September 1974.

"The sharp depreciation of the Australian dollar over the December quarter has had an unprecedented impact on not just iron ore and coal prices but also rural products with industries like cereal, sugar and the export of live stock and fish having noted record annual growth," Mr Sebastian said.

During the quarter, export prices for coal skyrocketed over 250 per cent, natural gas jumped 116.6 per cent, cereal rose by 64.9 per cent and iron & steel climbed 58.5 per cent.

Meantime import prices increased by 10.8 per cent in the same period, underpinned by a 30.4 per cent surge in the price paid for office machines.

Offsetting the increase was a fall of 25.2 per cent in prices paid for petroleum and oil based products.

In annual terms imports increased by 21.1 per cent - the largest annual increase in 23 years with the weaker Australian dollar playing a significant part in the record result.

 

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