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Australia records largest quarterly trade surplus

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The Hon Dr Craig Emerson MP Australian Minister for Trade and Competitiveness Australia records largest quarterly trade surplus Media release

08 November 2011

Australia has recorded its largest-ever quarterly trade surplus.

In the three months to September 2011, the surplus was $7.3 billion, up 16 per cent on the three months to June.

The quarterly record came after a trade surplus of $2.6 billion in September, the seventh consecutive monthly surplus

since floods and other weather-related disruptions led to a small deficit in February. It was also the fifth-largest monthly

surplus on record.

Robust Asian demand drove strong export growth over the quarter.

Trade Minister Craig Emerson said Australia's exporters had recovered well from the weather-related disruption to

trade early this year, and proved resilient against global economic turmoil and the strong Australian dollar.

This had allowed them to benefit from continuing healthy demand from China and other Asian powerhouses throughout

the year.

Exports to East Asia have surged more than 24 per cent in the past 12 months, with shipments to China up 32 per

cent, Korea up 26 per cent and Japan up 19 per cent.

"Australian exporters have responded magnificently to extraordinary growth in Asian economies in the Asian Century,"

Dr Emerson said.

"The Gillard Government is determined to broaden and deepen Australia's economic integration with Asia through the

Prime Minister's Asian Century White Paper project.

"Not through good luck but through good management, Australia is in the right place at the right time: in the Asian

region in the Asian Century."

A month-on-month fall in exports for September was driven mainly by a 24 per cent drop in non-monetary gold exports,

a volatile commodity.

Volumes of iron ore shipments in September were down around 3 per cent over the month, but this was partly offset by

stronger prices.

Rural exports went against the broader trend for the month, rising 2 per cent to $3 billion.

Manufactured exports also rose, by nearly 1 per cent, in September. Services exports fell by 1 per cent, to $4 billion.

Over the 12 months to September 2011, the value of resources exports rose 24 per cent.

Media enquiries

Minister Emerson's Office: (02) 6277 7420 ■

DFAT Media Liaison: (02) 6261 1555 ■

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