The value of Australia’s exports reached $32.6 billion in December – the highest level on record.
This record export performance resulted in a trade surplus of $3.5 billion – also the largest ever recorded – and represents a $7.9 billion turnaround in the monthly trade deficit from December 2015.
The strong outcome was underpinned by record levels of exports of both goods ($26.5 billion) and services ($6.2 billion).
Trade and Investment Minister Steven Ciobo said the figures released today by the Australian Bureau of Statistics reinforce the government’s economic plan to pursue trade agreements and open markets.
Australia’s annual exports in 2016 also rose by 4.2 per cent to a record high of $329 billion.
FTA’s play a key role
This record growth was driven by large increases in LNG, coal, gold, iron ore and services including both tourism and education. This growth comes despite a slowdown in global trade.
“The trade agreements the Coalition secured with China, Japan and Korea have played a key role in lifting Australia’s export potential and have provided a boost to Australia’s economic prosperity,” Mr Ciobo said.
“Exports to China, Japan and Korea have all increased substantially through the year to December 2016 to remain key export markets.
“Overall, our net exports contributed 1.4 per cent to economic growth in 2015-16 when Australia’s economy grew by 2.7 per cent.
“Net exports are expected to contribute positively to growth until 2017-18 at least.”