Australia has posted its third trade surplus in as many months in April, reflecting the resilience of the economy despite global weakness.
Data released today by the Australian Bureau of Statistics shows Australia recorded a seasonally-adjusted surplus of $28 million in April, as imports increased and exports fell slightly compared with March.
April's figure compares with a March surplus of $555 million, revised up from $307 million.
Trade Minister Craig Emerson welcomed a healthy rise in imports of capital goods, which are used to expand productive capacity.
"Australian companies are investing in new machinery and capacity, essential to competing in the global economy," Dr Emerson said.
On the export side, the value of agricultural shipments rose 2 per cent, or $64 million, to $3.2 billion. Of this, exports of meat increased 3 per cent, to $680 million, for the month.
Non-monetary gold also rose by 11.8 per cent, or $138 million, to $1.3 billion. However, the value of non-rural goods exports fell 2.7 per cent, or $463 million, to $16.6 billion.
Compared with April 2012, Australia's merchandise exports to China increased 16 per cent, to $7.4 billion. There was also 5.5 per cent growth, to $1.5 billion, in exports to South Korea. Exports to India were 17 per cent higher for the month and up more than 8 per cent over the year.
"The trade and investment relationship with Asia is strong and getting stronger," Dr Emerson said.
"This is why the Government is committed to stepping up its engagement with the region by continuing to implement the White Paper on Australia in the Asian Century."
Australia's trade balance
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