Australian trade surplus reaches record high in 2010-11

Media release from the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade

3 August 2011

Australia registered a monthly trade surplus of $2.1 billion in June 2011 according to figures released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics today.

The surplus was $647 million lower than in May. Exports remained steady, despite strong increases in coal exports as the sector continues to recover from disruptions from floods and other extreme weather.

The June surplus helped lift the fiscal year surplus to a record $22.4 billion, a strong recovery from a deficit of $3.5 billion in 2009-10. Exports for the fiscal year ended June 2011 jumped 17 per cent to $298.2 billion, driven by strong increases in coal and iron ore exports. Imports rose 7 per cent to $275.8 billion. Over the fiscal year, the Australian dollar rose 28 per cent against the US dollar and 18 per cent in trade-weighted terms.

The 7 per cent rise in imports over 2010-11 reflected strong increases in imports of capital goods (up 7 per cent to $49.8 billion) and fuels and lubricants (up 21 per cent to $32.1 billion).

Goods exports to China rose 39 per cent over 2010-11, making it not only the largest destination for Australian goods exports (26 per cent), but also the fastest growing major market. Japan Australia's second largest goods export market accounted for 19 per cent of Australia's exports and was up 26 per cent in the year, despite disruptions caused by the Tohoku disaster in March.

Further trade statistical information and publications on Australia's trade performance is available at the DFAT website at Trade and Economic Data and Publications.

Graph: Australia's trade balance to June 2011