Australia’s international trade took a dive in April

The ABS has released preliminary international trade data for April, which has registered solid falls in both imports and exports:

The preliminary figures show that exports fell $4 billion or 12 per cent from the record high figure in March 2020 of $35,797m.

Driving the decrease was a $1.7 billion decrease in exports of non-monetary gold following significant trade last month (trade in non-monetary gold is volatile and large month-to-month movements are not uncommon). Smaller decreases were also observed in other major resource commodities including iron ore, coal, gas and petroleum…

The value of goods imported fell in April 2020, down 5 per cent on March 2020, due to decreases in imports of petroleum, aircraft, non-monetary gold, and road vehicles…

Despite the decline, the ABS noted that Australian exports remain at historically high levels due to “ongoing demand for Australian resource commodities, in particular iron ore from major trading partners across Asia, and gas”.

Leith van Onselen