Following a strong performance of goods and services exports in the March quarter of 2015, with net exports contributing 0.5 percentage points of the 0.9 per cent growth in quarterly GDP, exports of services and manufactures rose in April, according to new Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) data.

“Exports of services grew one per cent in April to be 12.8 per cent higher than a year ago.  The rise was driven by transport services and travel services, up three per cent and 0.6 per cent respectively,” the Minister for Trade and Investment Andrew Robb said.

“Australian services have an enviable reputation across a wide range of areas in our region with strong prospects for future export growth. The trade agreements we have concluded with Korea, Japan and China include significant new openings for our services in the major economies of North Asia,” he said. 

However, a 12.4 per cent fall in the value of resources exports – pushed down by a fall in coal exports, largely due to the temporary closure of ports in Queensland and New South Wales because of severe weather conditions – saw Australian exports fall overall by 5.7 per cent to $25.7 billion in April. Imports rose by 3.9 per cent to $29.5 billion. 

Exports of manufactures rose 1.1 per cent in April to be 3.9 per cent higher than a year ago.  The rise was driven by exports of machinery, up 2.9 per cent, transport equipment, up 7.5 per cent, and other manufactures, up 2.3 per cent.

In the resources sector, exports of other mineral fuels rose by 10.2 per cent in April.  Exports of metal ores and minerals fell in April. 

In the rural sector, exports of cereals and cereal preparations rose 3.1 per cent and wool and sheepskins rose 0.8 per cent.  The increases partially offset falls in other categories of rural exports. 

Merchandise exports to several of our important trading partners surged in April compared to a year ago.  Exports to the United States rose 36.0 per cent to $1.1 billion, with exports to the European Union rising 15.3 per cent to $982 million and exports to India increasing 30 per cent to $801 million.

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