Strong rebound in ore, mineral exports

THE value of Australia’s exports reached $18.1 billion in April, the highest ever figure for that month, according to Trade Minister Warren Truss. The seasonally adjusted trade deficit fell by $666 million to $962 million, with resources exports rising by 5 per cent from March, to $6 billion. Metal ores and minerals exports rebounded by 11 per cent, mainly due to a rise in iron ore exports after cyclone activity in Western Australia disrupted exports in March. However, coal exports fell by 3 per cent as bottlenecks continued to slow supply chains to ports on the east coast. Rural and manufactured exports were down after a strong recent run, while gold exports were up by 15 per cent to $926 million and services exports rose by 1 per cent. Overall, exports were up by 1 per cent on March and imports were down by 2 per cent. Exports have risen by 11 per cent during the financial year to date, with imports up 9 per cent. During April, the Australian dollar averaged $US0.83 and reached its highest level against the US dollar since October 1990. Merchandise exports to North Asia continued to grow strongly, up 14 per cent over the 12 months to April, led by exports to China (up by 28 per cent). Exports to India also remained strong, rising by 25 per cent.

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