Get 40% Off
🚀 Our AI Picked 6 Stocks that Jumped +25% in Q1. Which Picks Will Soar in Q2?Unlock full list

Australia trade balance beats expectations in Dec as exports improve

Published 02/05/2024, 08:56 AM
Updated 02/05/2024, 08:56 AM
© Reuters.

Investing.com-- Australia clocked a bigger-than-expected trade surplus in December as improved offshore demand for fuels and metals helped push up exports, while increased consumer spending during the year-end holidays supported imports. 

The country’s trade balance showed a surplus of A$10.96 billion in December, data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics showed on Monday. The reading was slightly above expectations for a surplus of A$10.51 billion, but retreated from the A$11.44 billion seen in November.

Exports grew 1.8% in December from the prior month, aided chiefly by increased shipments of mineral fuels and gold during the month. Colder weather spurred increased demand for liquefied natural gas, while a mild pick-up in manufacturing activity in China helped spur demand for metals.

Australia’s trade balance still fell in December from the prior month, as the country’s key metal ores and coal exports fell during the month. A 4.8% month-on-month increase in imports also weighed, with consumption goods exports surging nearly 10%  during the month amid increased holiday demand for consumer goods.

But Australian imports were nursing a sharp 7.9% drop from November, as local consumer spending remained relatively weak in the face of high inflation and interest rates. 

Australia’s trade balance has stabilized in recent months after sinking to a near three-year low in September. Slowing economic growth in major export destination China has been a key point of contention for Australian exporters, especially as the mainland struggles with a sluggish post-COVID economic recovery. 

While exports grew in December, they remained well below a peak hit in mid-2022. Warmer weather across much of the globe has also kept demand for heating fuels limited. 

Still, increased LNG demand in Europe, especially after the U.S. halted LNG shipments to the bloc, is expected to increase exports of the fuel from Australia.

Latest comments

Risk Disclosure: Trading in financial instruments and/or cryptocurrencies involves high risks including the risk of losing some, or all, of your investment amount, and may not be suitable for all investors. Prices of cryptocurrencies are extremely volatile and may be affected by external factors such as financial, regulatory or political events. Trading on margin increases the financial risks.
Before deciding to trade in financial instrument or cryptocurrencies you should be fully informed of the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, carefully consider your investment objectives, level of experience, and risk appetite, and seek professional advice where needed.
Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. The data and prices on the website are not necessarily provided by any market or exchange, but may be provided by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual price at any given market, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Fusion Media and any provider of the data contained in this website will not accept liability for any loss or damage as a result of your trading, or your reliance on the information contained within this website.
It is prohibited to use, store, reproduce, display, modify, transmit or distribute the data contained in this website without the explicit prior written permission of Fusion Media and/or the data provider. All intellectual property rights are reserved by the providers and/or the exchange providing the data contained in this website.
Fusion Media may be compensated by the advertisers that appear on the website, based on your interaction with the advertisements or advertisers.
© 2007-2024 - Fusion Media Limited. All Rights Reserved.