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Strong export growth leads trade turnaround.

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Wednesday 1 May 2002 / MVT035/2002

Strong Export Growth Leads Trade Turnaround

Export growth across all goods sectors and a decline in imports has led to an impressive turnaround in Australia’s trade balance, Trade Minister Mark Vaile said today.

The Australian Bureau of Statistics’ international trade figures for March 2002, released today, showed Australia’s trade deficit was $A79 million in seasonally adjusted terms, a $A488 million improvement on the Februrary deficit of $A567 million.

“Australia’s rural exporters continue to perform strongly in a subdued global market,” Mr Vaile said. 

“Meat exports are up 25 per cent, wool exports are up 35 per cent and grains exports are up 7 per cent.

“Today’s strong figures are testament to the efficient and effective practices of Australian agricultural producers.

“Notably, Australian manufacturing exports continue to climb as well.  Transport exports, particularly from our auto industry, stand at an all time monthly record $A752 million.  Other manufactured goods also grew strongly, by 13 per cent to $A1.255 billion.

Japan continues to be Australia’s biggest export market, a point acknowledged by visiting Japanese Prime Minister, Junichiro Koizumi.

“The month of March saw $A1.7 billion in exports to Japan, and $A23.7 billion in the year to March, demonstrating the depth and substance of the bilateral trade relationship between our two countries.

“Stand out export destinations in March include the United States, up 36 per cent to $A1.1 billion, and China up 37 per cent to $A738 million.   Exports to China have grown by 22 per cent in the last twelve months.

“Exports to Europe continue to grow, with March figures standing at $A1.3 billion, up 16 per cent from the previous month.

“Australia’s export record continues to be the envy of our major trading partners.”

Media Contact: Nicole Guihot (Departmental) (02) 6261 1555

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Local Date: Wednesday, 01-May-2002 17:49:13 EST