Australia's trade surplus widened 2646 percent to AUD 2471 billion in May of 2017 from a downwardly revised AUD 0.09 billion in April. The figure came in above market expectations of AUD 1.1 billion as exports strongly bounced back after cyclone disruptions last month reduced coal supplies.
Compared to the prior month, sales of goods and services increased by 9 percent to AUD 32.78 billion. It is the biggest jump since November of 2016.
Exports of rural goods rose 3 percent to AUD 4.2 billion, mainly due to a 15 percent increase in cereal grains & cereal preparations which was partially offset by a 20 percent decline in wool and sheepskins.
Exports of non-rural goods (bulk commodities and non-bulk commodities) were up 13 percent to AUD 20.70 billion, as coal, coke & briquettes recovered from a 45 percent drop in April, to a 62 percent increase in May.
Partially offsetting these gains were "other non-rurals, including sugar & beverages" (-11 percent) and metal ores & minerals (-7 percent).
Exports of non-monetary gold (gold which is not owned by monetary authorities and can be in the form of bullion, including coins, ingots or bar with a purity at least 995 parts per thousand) rose 3 percent to AUD 1.52 billion.
Exports of services went up AUD 84 million, or 1 percent, to AUD 6.39 billion mainly due to an increase in travel (+2 percent).
Imports of goods and services edged up 1 percent to AUD 30.31 billion. Intermediate and other merchandise goods contributed the most to this rise (+5 percent) which was itself buoyed by a sharp increase in fuels & lubricants (+17 percent). In contrast, imports of non-monetary gold fell 25 percent.
Imports of services rose AUD 29 million to AUD 6.47 billion. The main component contributing to the rise was "other services" (+1 percent) and travel (+1 percent).
Cumulatively from January to May 2017, the trade surplus was recorded at AUD 10 billion.
7/6/2017 10:19:17 AM