Saturday 29th Feb, 2020

Australian exports reach record $50B trade surplus

Australia’s biggest ever financial year trade surplus has been built on record levels of exports, according to new data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

The ABS has found the trade surplus of $50 billion was due to exports of goods and services.

The value of exports of merchandise goods in 2018-19 rose to $373 billion, an increase of 18.3 per cent on the previous financial year. Additionally, the value of exports of services grew to $97 billion in the same time, an increase of 9.9 per cent.

Trade Minister, Simon Birmingham, said the country’s export sector remained strong, with export levels helping Australia reach its first current account surplus since 1975.

He also points to the Federal Government’s focus on securing advantageous free trade agreements and more open markets as playing a role in Australia’s economic success.

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“Despite these strong outcomes, the risks from global trade tensions remain a concern to Australia and the global economy,” Birmingham said.

“That is why our government continues to pursue further free trade agreements with our key trading partners, to enhance export opportunities for Australian farmers and businesses.

“By locking in low-tariff access to key export markets, and providing certainty of treatment of services exports and investors, these agreements will help to sustain economic growth by creating tremendous new opportunities for Australian businesses and farmers.”

Birmingham said uncertainty still hangs over the latest trade deals with Indonesia, Peru and Hong Kong.

“Reflecting the Government’s commitment to trade outcomes that grow exports and create more jobs, we remain committed to our plan of ensuring that around 90 per cent of Australia’s trade is covered by free trade agreements by 2022,” he said.