Australia’s monthly trade surplus widened in June as iron ore shipments rose, while overall exports fell less than imports.
The unexpected profit was $11.3 billion ($7.4 billion), compared with estimates of a profit of $10.75 billion and a downward revision of $10.5 billion in May, data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics showed on Thursday. Total exports fell 2%, while imports fell 4% on the month.
Data on Thursday showed ores and metal ores, which include iron ore, rose 2.3%, while coal, coke and briquettes fell 6.5%, the data showed. Other mineral fuels, which includes liquefied natural gas, decreased 8.9%.
Australia has posted monthly trade surpluses since January 2018, supported by sales of iron ore and natural gas to emerging economies in the Asia-Pacific region. The export windfall will see the budget return to an annual surplus for the first time in 15 years.
Demand for Australian products has been driven by major trading partner China, with its strong appetite for iron ore and coal. Trade in other commodities, such as timber, recently resumed after ties between Beijing and Canberra thawed following a political dispute.
China’s trade restrictions had little effect on Australia’s GDP, study finds Australia aims to conclude trade talks with India by the end of the year.
Travel exports rose 2.9% as the rebound in inbound tourism and international student arrivals that began earlier this year continued.
Imports of tourism-related services rose 10.2% from the previous month as Australians headed overseas, particularly to Europe over the summer.