A strong performing export sector has delivered Australia’s largest ever financial year trade surplus of $50 billion.
In the 2018-19 financial year, Australia exported goods and services worth $470 billion – a 15% increase over the previous year, according to new data by the Australian Bureau of Statistics.
The value of exports of merchandise goods in that period rose to a record $373 billion an increase of 18.3 per cent on the previous financial year.
And the value of exports of services grew to $97 billion – an increase of 9.9 per cent on the previous financial year.
The record levels of export volumes last financial year helped Australia to post its first current account surplus since 1975.
“The last time Australia recorded a current account surplus, Gerald Ford was the US president, Skyhooks were topping the charts, and Australia’s current trade minister was just one year of age,” said Trade Minister Simon Birmingham.
Much of the growth has been fuelled by China, Japan and Korean markets – thanks largely to free trade agreements, he said.
Commitment to free trade agreements
Senator Birmingham said the Government’s commitment to free trade and open markets has longed played a major role in Australia’s continued economic success.
“Despite these strong outcomes, the risks from global trade tensions remain a concern to Australia and the global economy.
"That is why our government continues to pursue further free trade agreements with our key trading partners.
“By locking in low-tariff access to key export markets, and providing certainty of treatment of services exports and investors, these agreements will provide high-levels of economic growth and tremendous opportunities for Australian businesses and farmers.”
The government is aiming to have about 90 per cent of Australia's trade covered by free trade agreements by 2022.