Exports increased by 1 percent from a month earlier to an all-time high of AUD 37.50 billion in September 2018, mainly driven by sales of non-rural goods (3 percent to AUD 23.61 billion), in particular metal ores and minerals (7 percent), other mineral fuels (6 percent), and other manufactures (2 percent). Also, exports of rural goods went up (1 percent to AUD 4.21 billion), in particular wool & sheepskins (12 percent), cereal grains and cereal preparations (2 percent). Exports of services went up 1 percent to AUD 8.16 billion, boosted by travel (2 percent). By contrast, exports of non-monetary gold tumbled 26 percent to AUD 1.50 billion.
Meanwhile, imports fell 1 percent to AUD 34.48 billion in September. Purchases of capital goods dropped 9 percent to AUD 6.09 billion, dragged by civil aircraft & confidentialised items (-45 percent), telecommunications equipment (-1 percent), ADP equipment (-3 percent), machinery and industrial equipment (-5 percent), and capital goods n.e.s (-18 percent). Also, imports of non-monetary gold decreased 14 percent to AUD 0.40 billion. Meantime, consumption goods rose 1 percent to AUD 8.68 billion, as an increase in food & beverages (3 percent), textiles, clothing & footwear (1 percent), toys, books & leisure goods (3 percent), and household electrical items (7 percent) while those of non-industrial transport equipment fell by 3 percent. Arrivals of intermediate & other merchandise goods went up 2 percent to AUD 11.19 billion, due to a rise in fuels & lubricants (8 percent), iron & steel (20 percent), parts for transport equipment (1 percent), parts for ADP equipment (6 percent), paper and paperboard (2 percent), textile yam and fabrics (6 percent), plastics (3 percent), processed industrial supplies n.e.s (4 percent), and goods procured in ports by carriers (1 percent). Imports of services almost unchanged at AUD 8.17 billion, as a rise in transport (1 percent) offset a decline in travel (1 percent).
Considering the first nine months of the year, the trade surplus widened to AUD 15.50 billion from AUD 10.88 billion in the same period of 2017.