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Trade Surplus Surges On Weaker Consumer Good Imports


The November trade data saw a healthy rise in the trade surplus to A$11.4bn, versus A$7.3bn expected. Exports rose 1.7% m/m (prior 0.8%), while imports fell -7.9% m/m (prior -2.9%).

  • On the export side, commodity exports were mixed. Iron ore down 1.1% m/m, along with natural gas (-2.6%). However, coal exports rose 8.8% m/m. Agricultural exports were also a touch higher (0.3% m/m).
  • On the import side, we saw a 14%m/m drop in consumer imports, while capital imports were down nearly 3%.
  • This hints at a softer domestic demand backdrop, although the levels of imports are coming off elevated levels seen at the end of Q3. Also note retail sales data for Nov, from earlier in the week, was still firm.

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