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Australian trade surplus ballooned

Christian Fernsby ▼ | May 7, 2020
Australia's trade surplus ballooned to a record 6.8 billion U.S. dollars in seasonally adjusted terms in March, largely on the back of strong Chinese demand for iron ore.
Australia port
Surplus   Australia port
The Australian Bureau of Statistics revealed on Thursday that the record number was also helped by a slump in imports due to global supply chain disruptions caused by the coronavirus.

Topics: Australia trade surplus

The figure vastly exceeded analyst predictions and is a steep lift from the downwardly revised 2.5 billion U.S. dollar surplus in February.

Shipments of iron ore surged by around one third, with China by far the biggest customer, while gold exports nearly tripled as investors sought the safety of the precious metal.

The dramatic shift in iron ore exports could partially be attributed to disruptions by Cyclone Damien which hit the Pilbara mining region of Western Australia in February, as well as the Chinese economy returning from lockdowns, according to Rennie.

On the Australian share market, the country's largest iron ore producers, BHP and Fortescue, both finished the day over 1.5 percent higher, leading a standout jump in the materials sector.