New data released today shows the ongoing transition in our resources and energy sector, with production increases translating into increased export volumes, Minister for Trade and Investment Andrew Robb said.

Australian Bureau of Statistics Trade in Goods and Services data shows that Australian metal ores and minerals exports rose 0.4 per cent (seasonally adjusted) in the month of August to $7.3 billion. Coal exports were up 3.7 per cent to $3.2 billion.

The Bureau of Resources and Energy Economics (BREE), in its September Quarter 2014 report, forecasts Australia’s resources and energy export earnings to rise at a yearly average of 7 per cent from 2013-14 to total $274.0 billion in 2018-19. BREE predicts that the volume of iron ore exports will increase by 13 per cent, LNG by 13 per cent, metallurgical coal by 2 per cent and thermal coal by 1 per cent in 2014-15.

Overall, Australian exports fell 1.5 per cent (seasonally adjusted) month-on-month in August to $26.4 billion and imports dropped 2.5 per cent to $27.2 billion.  Australia’s trade deficit narrowed to $787 million from a revised $1.1 billion deficit in July.

Goods exports to ASEAN-10 were up 21.9 per cent in August from a year ago to $2.5 billion, and goods exports to the United States rose by 19.1 per cent to $952 million.

“Australia’s trade relationship with ASEAN continues to strengthen, with exports increasing across ASEAN nations,” Mr Robb said.

“Australia’s exports to the United States also experienced a strong increase in a sign of strengthening economic activity in the United States, Australia’s third largest trading partner and our largest source of foreign direct investment.”

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