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5368.0 - International Trade in Goods and Services, Australia, Mar 2004  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 04/05/2004   
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MARCH KEY FIGURES

January
February
March
Feb 04 to Mar 04
$m
$m
$m
% change

Trend

Balance on goods & services
-1,933
-1,936
-1,927
. .
Credits (exports of goods & services)
11,773
11,796
11,814
-
Debits (imports of goods & services)
13,706
13,732
13,741
-

Seasonally Adjusted

Balance on goods & services
-1,896
-1,728
-1,986
. .
Credits (exports of goods & services)
12,112
11,683
11,767
1
Debits (imports of goods & services)
14,008
13,411
13,753
3

. . not applicable
- nil or rounded to zero (including null cells)

Balance on goods and services
Graph: Balance on goods and services



MARCH KEY POINTS


TREND ESTIMATES
  • The provisional trend estimate of the balance on goods and services was a deficit of $1,927m in March 2004, a decrease of $9m on the deficit in February.
  • Goods and services credits rose $18m to $11,814m. Goods and services debits rose $9m to $13,741m.


SEASONALLY ADJUSTED ESTIMATES
  • In seasonally adjusted terms, the balance on goods and services was a deficit of $1,986m in March, an increase of $258m on the deficit in February.
  • Goods and services credits rose $84m (1%) to $11,767m, with goods credits up $180m (2%) and services credits down $96m (3%). Non-rural and other goods rose $290m (4%), while rural goods fell $110m (5%).
  • Goods and services debits rose $342m (3%) to $13,753m, with goods debits up $268m (3%) and services debits up $74m (3%). Consumption goods rose $178m (5%), capital goods rose $162m (7%), while intermediate and other goods fell $72m (1%).


ORIGINAL ESTIMATES
  • In original terms, the March balance on goods and services was a deficit of $2,249m, an increase of $2,148m on the deficit in February. Goods and services debits rose $2,182m (18%) and goods and services credits rose $34m.
  • In the nine months to March, exports of non-rural and other goods were down $6.9b (10%) and rural goods were down $3.0b (15%) on the corresponding period in 2002-03.


NOTES



REVISIONS

In original terms, revisions since the previous issue have decreased the deficit on goods and services for the eight months to February 2004 by $41m. The revision to the February 2004 estimate was a decrease on the deficit of $17m.


The revisions are the result of incorporating the latest available data relating to merchandise trade and the quarterly Survey of International Trade in Services.



FEATURE ARTICLES

Three feature articles have been released on the ABS web site <http://www.abs.gov.au> concurrently with the release of this publication. The articles are:

  • Australia's Trade with the USA, which shows Australia's trading patterns with the USA, in goods and services, prior to the proposed implementation of a free trade agreement between the two nations.
  • International Trade in Services by Partner Country, 2003
  • International Trade in Services by State, 2003

The latter two articles provide comparable data to those released on 30 October 2003 for the financial year 2002-03.


To access these articles on the web site select:


Themes then International Trade then Topics of Interest



CAUTIONARY NOTE

The tables in this publication are presented on two bases. Tables 1-6 contain estimates of Australia's international trade in goods and services which have been adjusted for coverage, valuation and timing to a balance of payments basis. Tables 7-10 contain estimates of merchandise exports and imports based on Australian Customs Service records. Paragraph 5 of the Explanatory Notes provides an explanation of the difference between these bases.



INQUIRIES

For further information about these and related statistics, contact the National Information and Referral Service on 1300 135 070 or Artur Andrysiak on Canberra (02) 6252 6792.



ANALYSIS AND COMMENTS


BALANCE ON GOODS AND SERVICES

The trend estimate of the balance on goods and services in March 2004 was a deficit of $1,927m, a decrease of $9m on the deficit in February.


In seasonally adjusted terms, the balance on goods and services in March 2004 was a deficit of $1,986m, an increase of $258m on the deficit in February.


The sum of the seasonally adjusted balances for the three months to March 2004 was a deficit of $5,610m, a decrease of $128m on the deficit of $5,738m for the three months to December 2003. However, if the more detailed seasonal factors used in compiling quarterly Balance of Payments are applied, the March quarter 2004 deficit was $6,267m, an increase of $488m on the revised December quarter 2003 deficit of $5,779m.



EXPORTS OF GOODS AND SERVICES

The trend estimate of goods and services credits rose $18m in March to $11,814m.


In seasonally adjusted terms, goods and services credits rose $84m (1%) in March to $11,767m. Non-rural and other goods rose $290m (4%), while rural goods fell $110m (5%) and services credits fell $96m (3%).


Exports of goods

GOODS CREDITS
Graph: credit_graph_Goods cr grph



Rural goods

The trend estimate of rural goods exports rose $29m (1%) to $2,064m.


In seasonally adjusted terms, rural goods fell $110m (5%) to $1,996m.


Rural goods, in original terms, rose $49m (2%) to $2,128m.


Movements in the original series contributing to the fall in seasonally adjusted terms were:

  • cereal grains and cereal preparations, down $148m (24%), in contrast to an average February to March rise of 3% over the previous three years.
  • meat and meat preparations, up $48m (10%), compared with an average February to March rise of 22% over the previous three years.

Partly offsetting these effects were other rural, up $92m (12%), compared with an average February to March rise of 7% over the previous three years.


Non-rural and other goods

The trend estimate of non-rural and other goods exports fell $3m to $6,829m.


Seasonally adjusted, non-rural and other goods rose $290m (4%) to $6,889m.


In original terms, non-rural and other goods rose $862m (14%) to $7,121m.


Movements in the original series contributing to the rise in seasonally adjusted terms were:

  • metal ores and minerals, up $295m (29%), compared with an average February to March rise of 9% over the previous three years
  • other mineral fuels, up $103m (16%), compared with an average February to March rise of 5% over the previous three years
  • other non-rural, up $160m (25%), compared with an average February to March rise of 20% over the previous three years.

Partly offsetting these effects were:
  • transport equipment, up $3m (1%), compared with an average February to March rise of 31% over the previous three years
  • other goods, down $96m (16%), compared with an average February to March fall of 3% over the previous three years.

Exports of services
SERVICES CREDITS
Graph: credit_graph_Servs cr grph



In trend terms, services credits fell $8m to $2,921m.


Seasonally adjusted, services credits fell $96m (3%) to $2,882m.


Contributing to this fall were travel services, down $129m (8%) seasonally adjusted, driven by a drop in education related travel services from the unusually high February 2004 levels.


Partly offsetting this effect were:

  • other services, up $17m (2%)
  • passenger and other transportation services, up $16m (3%).


IMPORTS OF GOODS AND SERVICES

The trend estimate of goods and services debits rose $9m in March to $13,741m.


In seasonally adjusted terms, goods and services debits rose $342m (3%) to $13,753m. Consumption goods rose $178m (5%), capital goods rose $162m (7%) and services debits rose $74m (3%), while intermediate and other goods fell $72m (1%).


Imports of goods

GOODS DEBITS
Graph: GOODS DEBITS



Consumption goods

The trend estimate of imports of consumption goods fell $16m to $3,519m.


In seasonally adjusted terms, imports of consumption goods rose $178m (5%) to $3,525m.


Consumption goods imports, in original terms, rose $590m (19%) to $3,685m.


Contributing to the rise in the seasonally adjusted series were:

  • textiles, clothing and footwear, up $106m (28%), in contrast to an average February to March fall of 13% over the previous three years
  • consumption goods n.e.s., up $179m (19%), compared with an average February to March rise of 3% over the previous three years
  • food and beverages, up $68m (18%), compared with an average February to March rise of 7% over the previous three years.

Offsetting these effects by about 4 percentage points was the adjustment made as part of the regular seasonal adjustment process to take into account different trading day patterns in February and March.


Capital goods

The trend estimate of imports of capital goods fell $19m (1%) to $2,549m.


Seasonally adjusted, imports of capital goods rose $162m (7%), to $2,546m.


In original terms, imports of capital goods rose $641m (32%), to $2,670m.


Contributing to the rise in the seasonally adjusted series were:

  • civil aircraft, rising at a higher rate than their historical average
  • machinery and industrial equipment, up $121m (16%), compared with an average February to March rise of 5% over the previous three years
  • telecommunications equipment, up $163m (60%), compared with an average February to March rise of 34% over the previous three years.

Intermediate and Other Goods

The trend estimate of imports of intermediate and other goods rose $33m (1%) to $4,756m.


In seasonally adjusted terms, intermediate and other goods imports fell $72m (1%) to $4,740m.


Imports of intermediate and other goods, in original terms, rose $722m (16%) to $5,188m.


Contributing to the fall in the seasonally adjusted series were:

  • adjustments made as part of the regular seasonal adjustment process to take into account the length of the month and different trading day patterns in February and March, which contributed about 4 percentage points to the fall
  • fuels and lubricants, up $64m (7%), compared with an average February to March rise of 28% over the previous three years
  • other merchandise goods, down $135m (63%), in contrast to an average February to March rise of 17% over the previous three years
  • primary industrial supplies n.e.s., up $16m (21%), compared with an average February to March rise of 44% over the previous three years.

Offsetting these effects were:
  • other goods, up $138m (40%), in contrast to an average February to March fall of 7% over the previous three years
  • processed industrial supplies n.e.s., up $235m (27%), compared to an average February to March rise of 9% over the last three years
  • other parts for capital goods, up $122m (20%), compared to an average February to March rise of 6% over the last three years.

Imports of Services
SERVICES DEBITS
Graph: SERVICES DEBITS



In trend terms, services debits rose $11m to $2,917m.


Seasonally adjusted, services debits rose $74m (3%) to $2,942m.


Contributing to the rise in the seasonally adjusted series were:

  • freight transportation services, up $25m (5%)
  • travel services, up $25m (3%)
  • other services, up $24m (3%).

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