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August trade data shows export recovery continues.

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Media release

29 September - MVT80/2004

August Trade Data Shows Export Recovery Continues

Trade Minister Mark Vaile today welcomed a contraction in Australia's seasonally adjusted trade deficit from $2.7 billion in July to $1.9 billion in August as the trend to stronger exports continued.

Trend data for exports rose 1 per cent in August to reach $13.2 billion - up over 16 per cent from the same month last year.

"Australia's exports are continuing to trend upwards and are now back to around the levels achieved prior to the global economic downturn," Mr Vaile said.

"Exports have recovered strongly, in seasonally adjusted and trend terms, over the last 12 months reflecting strong growth in rural exports, energy exports and services," Mr Vaile said.

Seasonally-adjusted exports of rural goods rose by 32 per cent compared to August last year, largely on the back of a 112 per cent rise in cereals exports from the bumper 2003 winter harvest. Meat exports grew by 35 per cent reflecting, in part, strong demand from Japan for Australian beef.

Strong global demand for energy resources has resulted in coal exports rising by 56 per cent, year on year.

In original terms, resources exports continue to strengthen, reflecting robust demand for industrial inputs from Asia. Metals exports were up by 10 per cent and other non rural goods exports rose by 16 per cent in August, month on month.

The strong export performance in August 2004 as compared with August 2003 reflects continuing strength in the economies of our key trading partners in North Asia, most significantly Korea, China and Japan.

There has been strong growth in exports to major ASEAN markets, and exports to India and New Zealand also grew strongly, up 11 per cent and 22 per cent, respectively.

Contact: Matthew Doman 02 6277 7420