06/08/2019 - 15:06

Trade surplus, WA exports smash ceiling

06/08/2019 - 15:06


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Western Australia’s exports surpassed $161 billion in the year to June, as Australia recorded its largest ever trade surplus in the month.

Trade surplus, WA exports smash ceiling
The national trade surplus is now at a record $8 billion.

Western Australia’s exports surpassed $161 billion in the year to June, as Australia recorded its largest ever trade surplus in the month.

As a nation, Australia sold about $42.4 billion of goods and services into foreign markets in June, while importing only $33.8 billion.

That meant the trade surplus was $8.6 billion, the highest nominal level on record.

Across the 2019 financial year, Australia accumulated trade surpluses of about $49.9 billion.

For WA, merchandise exports were the highest for any 12-month period since records began.

The acceleration has been rapid.

WA exports were about 34 per cent higher than the year to June 2017, when merchandise exports were $120.4 billion.

China has continued to play a massive role in the state’s trade.

In June alone, WA exported about $9.3 billion of merchandise to the Asian powerhouse.

WA exports to China across the year to June totalled $81.3 billion, just more than half of all the state’s shipments.

Sales to Japan have also strengthened.

In the year to June, WA exported $24.1 billion of merchandise to Japan, compared to $18.9 billion in the 12 months to June 2018.

Commsec chief economist Craig James said Australian exports were going gangbusters.

“Arguably Australia is the real winner of the US-China trade war,” he said. 

“Both exports to the US and China over the past year have hit record highs.

“A weaker Aussie dollar has helped. 

“The quality of Australian produce is another key reason why our exports are soaring.

“If China cuts back on US agricultural products, it will find quality products ‘Down Under’ to fill the void. 

“If China wants to ramp up infrastructure spending, the quality raw materials are here in Australia. 

“The sharemarket hasn’t cottoned onto it as yet – but if the US and China don’t want to buy each other’s goods, other countries have opportunities to meet the end demand.”

Minerals Council of Australia chief executive Tania Constable said the role of resources had been key.

“Australia’s resources exports have doubled over the last 10 years, with $250 billion of investment in the mining industry delivering substantial growth in minerals production and jobs in that period,” she said.

“The record export revenue has been driven by record years for several commodities including iron ore ($77 billion), coal ($69 billion), aluminium ($15.6 billion) and copper ($9.9 billion).

“Iron ore was again Australia’s single largest source of export revenue for the year and also set a new record for a single month of exports in June ($9.5 billion).

“These record exports enabled Australia’s resources sector to account for 58 per cent of Australia’s total export revenue in 2018-19.”


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