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Trade winds blow in Australia's favour.

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Media release

31 July 2008

Trade Winds Blow in Australia's Favour Trade Minister Simon Crean welcomed the $411 million trade surplus in June 2008.

The June surplus was a substantial $664 million turnaround from the revised May 2008 trade deficit, according to figures released today by the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

The surplus was driven by a strong result in the resources sector, with coal exports increasing by $657 million and other mineral fuels rising by $101 million. These improvements were partially offset by falls in rural and manufactured goods.

The ABS has also revised upwards Australia’s exports in April and May to reflect the higher prices negotiated by coal exporters. As a result, Australia recorded a trade surplus of $559 million in the June quarter, a $7.9 billion turnaround on the revised deficit of $7.3 billion

recorded in the March quarter.

“The trade winds are now blowing in Australia’s favour,” Mr Crean said. “At a time of global economic uncertainty, Australia’s improving trade performance is a source of strength.”

“And on the back of this week’s disappointing result at the World Trade Organization, this unambiguous trade surplus underlines Australia’s solid fundamentals as a trading nation.”

“The Australian Government will of course continue to play its part in efforts to ensure we can get the multilateral trade talks back on track. Because trade helps create more and higher paying jobs and offers Australians more choice of goods, often at lower prices.”

The June figures showed that goods exports grew 2 per cent to $23 billion in June 2008, with resources exports reaching $10 billion in the month for the first time.

Services exports rose 1 per cent to $4.6 billion, with all sectors contributing to the growth. Imports of consumption goods fell 2 per cent to $5.2 billion, reflecting a fall in motor vehicle imports.

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Media Inquiries: Mr Crean's office 02 6277 7420 - Departmental Media Liaison 02 6261 1555

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