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Down Under   Australian Bureau of Statistics:

Australia delivers strong trade performance

Australia tradeAustralia's trade deficit narrowed by 667 million AU dollars ($512 million) in September, Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment Steve Ciobo said.

According the data released by Australian Bureau of Statistics, the September figure continues the improving trend seen throughout this year.

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READ MORE Australia posts excellent trade surplus, up 72 percent

The deficit is the smallest it has been since December 2014 and is now down around 3 billion AU dollars ($2.3 billion) since its December 2015 peak.

Since December 2015, in seasonally adjusted terms, monthly resources exports have increased by 1.8 billion ($1.38 billion), or up 19.4 percent, and services exports have grown by 321 million ($246 million), up 5.6 percent.

The Australian newspaper estimated that if the iron ore and coal prices hold at the current level, the federal and state governments will have a potential 12 billion AU dollars ($9.2 billion) windfall.

Coking coal spot price is at a five-year high of $258.5 a ton while thermal coal price is at $105.8 a ton, a four year high. Iron ore price reaches a six-month high of $64 a ton.

"While it is still too early to say whether recent commodity price gains will persist over the longer-term, strong gains in Australia's export prices (and reductions in import prices) are promising," Ciobo said.

Ciobo said services exports have been helping fill the gap created in recent years by lower global commodity prices.

"Their continued growth, up more than 35 percent over the past four years, points to the strength and diversity of Australia's economy."

"Services exports can be the next driver for Australia's economy, ensuring our record-breaking 25 years of growth continues," he said.




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