Trade and Investment Minister Andrew Robb said new data released today shows a surge in resource and manufacturing exports has led to a sharp narrowing in the trade deficit for October.

According to the latest ABS International Trade in Goods and Services data, the trade deficit narrowed by 40.8 per cent to $1.3 billion in October 2014, from a $2.2 billion deficit in September 2014, driven by both an increase in export values and a decrease in import values. 

Resources exports rose 3.4 per cent in October to $12.6 billion.  Metal ores and minerals exports contributed 72 per cent to the increase in the total value of exports for the month.

“Strong investment in the sector has driven these results and continues to produce solid dividends for the economy," Mr Robb said.

“Overall exports rose 1.5 per cent in October to $26.9 billion, while net exports contributed 0.8 percentage points to GDP growth in the September quarter.”

Mr Robb said the three trade deals concluded by the Abbott Government, will help underpin export growth into the future.

“Since coming to office, the Government has pursued an aggressive trade agenda which has led to the conclusion of transformational agreements with Korea, Japan and China – three powerhouse economies of our region,” Mr Robb said.

“The benefits of those agreements will begin flowing through the economy soon, with the Korea-Australia Free Trade Agreement coming into force on 12 December.

“KAFTA is expected to result in an annual boost to the economy of close to $650 million when fully implemented.  It’s also projected to create many thousands of jobs over the next decade,” he said.

Exports to several major trading partners were up in October from a year ago, including to Japan, up 9.7 per cent to $4.1 billion, to the European Union, up 23.7 per cent to $1.1 billion, to the USA, up 27.2 per cent to $1.0 billion, to India, up 24.4 per cent to $896 million, and to Singapore, up 13.9 per cent to $623 million. Exports to China were down 5.3 per cent to $8.5 billion.

Sectoral highlights include:

  • Metal ores and minerals were up 4.3 per cent from September to $7.1 billion.
  • Coal, coke & briquettes were up 3.3 per cent to $3.0 billion.
  • Metals (excluding gold) were up 19.6 per cent to $1.1 billion.
  • Machinery was up 3.3 per cent to $789 million.
  • Other manufactures were up 3.1 per cent to $1.4 billion.
  • Meat & meat preparations were up 5.4 per cent to $1.1 billion.
  • Travel services were up 0.8 per cent to $3.0 billion.

A complete ABS International Trade in Goods and Services data report can be found at:

Media enquiries

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