Australia's trade surplus due to strong prices

16:24, June 03, 2010      

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Australia's first trade surplus in 13 months reflects the strong prices being paid for coal and iron ore, Trade Minister Simon Crean said on Thursday.

"It reflects the very strong effect from resource exports and in turn that reflects the very high prices that are being paid for those," Crean told reporters in Canberra.

The value of iron ore exports increased by 32 percent in the month, even though the volume of ore exported increased by only two percent.

"These figures demonstrate that the price is determined in the world market, that the miners are recording for the country the extraordinary growth in export prices for their resources," Crean said.

Goods exports to China, Australia's largest trading partner, has increased by 23 percent in April, while goods exports to Japan, Australia's second-largest trading partner, has increased by 17 percent.

Goods exports to South Korea rose by 9 percent.

Crean said exports to China will remain strong in an economy that is expected to grow 10 percent this year.

"Obviously in terms of the other debate that is going on at the moment, the government's tax for resource rent will ensure that Australians get a fair share from this growth," Crean said.

The trade balance of goods and services was a 134 million dollars (113.6 million U.S. dollars) surplus in April 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.

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

Exports jumped by 11 percent in April.



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