Australia recorded a seasonally adjusted trade surplus of A$670 million (about US$615.9 million) in May, increasing 292 percent or $458.7 million on the revised $157.2 million surplus in April, marking the nation’s fourth consecutive monthly trade surplus.
The value of exports rose 3.6 percent or $840.2 million month-over-month to $24.3 billion. Non-rural goods rose $626.9 million or 4 percent, and rural goods rose $53.3 million or 2 percent, while net exports of goods under merchanting remained steady at $11.0 million. Imports increased 1.6 percent or $380.6 million to $23.7 billion.
The gain in exports was driven by demand from Asia, with goods exports to North Asia up 9.5 percent in May to $13.5 billion. Exports to China climbed nearly 10 percent to $7.4 billion, while exports to Japan surged 14.2 percent to $3.8 billion. Exports to South Korea jumped 12 percent to $1.6 billion.
“The continued recovery in the trade balance shows again just how important [exporters] are to Australia’s prosperity in this challenging global economy,” said Richard Marles, Australia’s trade minister, in a written statement.