Data released today by the Australian Bureau of Statistics shows Australia recorded a trade deficit of $765 million in July. Exports rose by $54 million to $26.2 billion and imports increased by 4.1 per cent, or $1.1 billion, to $27.0 billion.
Resources exports rose by 2.1 per cent, or $261 million, to $12.9 billion, driven by a rise in other mineral fuels (up $101 million) and coal, coke and briquettes (up $96 million). Exports of metal ores and minerals also rose by $64 million. Rural goods exports rose by 2.7 per cent to $3.3 billion.
The increases were partly offset by falls in non-monetary gold exports (down 18.9 per cent or $219 million to $941 million) and manufactures exports (down $60 million) to $3.5 billion.
Imports of general merchandise goods were 4.5 per cent or $902 million higher to $21.1 billion, driven primarily by a 17.3 per cent increase ($506 million) in fuels and lubricants (not seasonally adjusted and a volatile series) and a 2.0 per cent increase ($118 million) in imports of consumption goods, while imports of capital goods were flat. There was also a 2.2 per cent increase ($119 million) in services imports to $5.5 billion.
Australia's merchandise exports (in original terms) to North Asia increased 2.6 per cent in July to $14.7 billion, with exports to China up 0.4 per cent to $7.8 billion and to the Republic of Korea up 8.9 per cent to $1.8 billion. Exports to Taiwan rose by 19.4 per cent to $682 million.
Exports to the ASEAN 10 were down by 0.6 per cent or $11 million to $1.8 billion. Exports to the European Union decreased 20 per cent or $246 million to $982 million. Exports to the United States increased 14.1 per cent or $100 million to $808 million.