Data shows Australia in trade surplus in April

13:20, June 03, 2010      

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Australia on Thursday posted its first monthly trade surplus in just over a year as exports soared 11 percent in April.

The trade balance of goods and services was a 134 million dollars (113 million U.S. dollars) surplus compared with a revised 2.04 billion dollars (1.73 billion U.S. dollars) trade deficit in March, Australian Bureau of Statistics data showed on Thursday.

Economists' forecasts had centered on an 800 million dollars ( 676.4 million U.S. dollars) deficit for April in anticipation of a marked improvement in exports as a result of the sharply higher contract prices for bulk commodities, such as coal and iron ore, that have been negotiated in recent months.

The Commonwealth Bank of Australia's commodity price index rose nearly 24 percent in April.

The jump in exports included an 18 percent rise in non-rural goods.

Exports proved disappointing in Wednesday's national accounts for the March quarter, subtracting 0.5 percentage points from gross domestic product growth.

Treasurer Wayne Swan in his national accounts press conference said the fall in export volumes was the result of cyclone activity and flooding in Queensland, which he said caused one million tonnes of coal to be banked up at ports.

But Swan said the prospects for exports remained "very strong", and if not for the floods, total exports would have risen in the March quarter.

The value of imports in April was unchanged from March.



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