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Exports reach record high.

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Media release

Tuesday, 2 June 2005 - MVT45/2005

Exports Reach Record High

"Australian exports reached their highest monthly level ever in April, growing at 9% to reach $14.6 billion. This is the strongest monthly exports growth since the Olympics in September 2000 and the highest monthly level ever recorded", Trade Minister Mark Vaile said today.

"Exports are firmly on track to achieve a

record level in value and volume terms in 2004-05. Total exports in the 10 months to April 2005 were $133.2 billion, up 13.8 per cent compared to the 10 months to April 2004", Mr Vaile said.

The largest contributor to exports growth was a 14 per cent rise in non-rural and other goods

exports. This reflected a rise in coal exports of 35 per cent and a rise in iron ore exports of 18 per cent (in original terms), as higher contract prices start to flow through to export receipts.

Despite the drought, rural exports rose 7 per cent, reflecting higher exports of live animals and fishery products. Strong growth was recorded in transport equipment exports, which rose 28 per cent and metal exports (up 18 per cent), in original terms. Services exports moderated slightly after strong growth in the March quarter.

April's International trade in Goods and Services saw a slight moderation in imports in April. The trade deficit halved from $2.6 billion to $1.3 billion, the lowest deficit since January 2003.

There were falls in imports of consumption goods and intermediate goods, while capital goods imports increased, indicating businesses increased investment in imported inputs into production in the month. There was a slight rise in services imports.

"Today's result reinforces the Government's commitment to its active agenda to open markets, promote Australia's exports overseas, and to ensure infrastructure is in place to enable exports to keep growing. This agenda is providing a firm foundation for future increases in exports and the growth of the Australian economy", said Mr Vaile.

Contact: Mr Vaile's office 02 6277 7420 - DFAT Media Liaison 02 6261 1555