Australian trade surplus reaches record high in 2010-11

Media Release

3 August 2011

Media release from the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade

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.

  • Resources exports rose 34 per cent to reach $146.7 billion in 2010-11, despite cyclone and flooding disruptions during the year. Metal ores and minerals rose 48 per cent to $79.2 billion and exports of coal, coke and briquettes rose 19 per cent to $43.9 billion. Other mineral fuels rose 25 per cent to $23.6 billion.
  • Rural exports rose 19 per cent to $30.5 billion, with a 40 per cent rise in cereals exports reflecting strong price rises for soft commodities over the year.
  • Manufactured exports rose 6 per cent to $41.4 billion, driven by higher metals (excluding gold) exports, up 18 per cent to $12.7 billion.
  • Services exports fell 2 per cent over 2010-11 to $51.5 billion, with lower travel services reflecting the effects of a strong Australian dollar.

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
Last Updated: 3 August 2011