Trade sees January decline in both imports and exports

Image Credit: Australian Bureau of Statistics

While the nation maintained its goods trade surplus of $8.8 billion, Australia’s January import of goods fell 10 per cent, while exports fell 9 per cent.

According to data released today by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), exports declined $3 billion or down for the beginning of 2021.

Andrew Tomadini, Head of International Statistics at the ABS, said the decline in metalliferous ores amounting to $1.5 billion (down 10 per cent) was the strongest contributor to the January export decline of $3 billion (-9 per cent).

“The decline in metalliferous ores was driven by a decline in the quantity of iron ore exported in January. Despite the decline, exports of Metalliferous ores are the second highest on record behind December 2020,” explained Mr Tomadini.

Aside from metalliferous ores, the decline in meat (down 39 per cent) and coal exports (down 8 per cent) also contributed to the January decline.

Meanwhile, a decline of $845 million (-23 per cent) in road vehicles drove imports down to $2.6 billion or down 10 per cent.

“A drop in global car manufacturing is leading to supply shortages, with the imports of road vehicles from Japan and Thailand, Australia’s two largest road vehicle source countries, driving the decline in January imports” Mr Tomadini said.

The general industrial machinery and the miscellaneous manufactured articles industries also so declined, down $234 million (-16 per cent) and $196 million (-13 per cent), respectively.