Australia’s trade surplus reached a record high last quarter, up 35 per cent on the previous quarter.
The terms of trade rose 3.1 per cent in the March quarter 2019, driven by rising export prices (up 2.7 per cent) and falling import prices (down 0.4 percent).
Australia has achieved a trade surplus every month since January last year – 16 consecutive months.
The trade surplus for the March quarter 2019 was $13.6 billion (up $4.8 billion), and in April, Australia registered a monthly trade surplus of $4.9 billion, according to new data released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics.
Trade Minister Simon Birmingham says the new figures highlight the important contribution of the nation’s export sector to the Australian economy and to creating more jobs.
They demonstrate the dividends of the federal government’s ongoing commitment to free trade and open markets, he says.
“Increased access to international markets for Australian farmers and businesses has been a major factor in our bumper export performance,” Senator Birmingham said.
Providing exporters with certainty to grow
“The free trade agreements that Australia has secured over the past five years have provided our exporters with the certainty they need to grow and expand in critical markets.
“One in five jobs in Australia are trade related, and over the next five years we’re committed to boosting the number of Australians employed as a result of trade by an extra 240,000 as part of our Government’s overall commitment to deliver 1.25 million new jobs.
“It is reassuring to see that in an environment of global trade headwinds Australia has now managed to achieve a trade surplus every month since January 2018 – that’s 16 consecutive monthly surpluses, and 28 out of the last 30 months.
“This result is testament to the hard work of Australian exporters and the opportunities that free and open international markets bring to our economy.
“We are committed to continuing to expanding market access for our farmers and businesses, and that’s why we need to quickly ratify our trade agreements with Indonesia, Hong Kong and Peru so Australian exporters have access to more markets and can grow their exports.”
Senator Birmingham urged the Labor Opposition to back Australian farmers and businesses by supporting the agreements.