Australia ends financial year with trade surplus

Media release

2 August 2012

Australia has ended the 2011-12 financial year with a seasonally-adjusted trade surplus of $9 million for the month of June and a $5.8 billion surplus for the year.

The $9 million June surplus was a $322 million improvement on May's revised monthly deficit of $313 million.

A fall in imports explained most of the June surplus, down $422 million or 2 per cent from May.

The 2011-12 trade surplus of $5.8 billion was the third-highest on record for a financial year.

Australia's export strength in 2011-12 was driven by strong demand from Asia with merchandise exports to China up nearly 20 per cent to a record $77 billion, while exports to Japan rose by 9 per cent to reach $51 billion.

"The strong trade surplus for this financial year reflects the growing importance of the Asian region for our exporters and reinforces the work the Government is doing on the Asian Century White Paper," Trade and Competitiveness Minister Craig Emerson said.

Despite a marginal drop in total exports during June, rural exports were up 6 per cent to $3.1 billion, largely due to a 15 per cent increase in cereals and grains.

Rural exports grew 14 per cent to $34.7 billion over the financial year, building on 19 per cent growth during 2010-11.

"The robust performance of rural exports over the past two years demonstrates the resilience and innovation within the agricultural sector and its ability to overcome setbacks from recent natural disasters," Dr Emerson said.

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