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5368.0 - International Trade in Goods and Services, Australia, Apr 2008  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 05/06/2008   
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APRIL KEY FIGURES

February 2008
March 2008
April 2008
Mar 08 to Apr 08
$m
$m
$m
% change

BALANCE ON GOODS AND SERVICES
Trend estimates
-2 325
-2 209
-2 034
8
Seasonally adjusted
-3 221
-2 548
-957
62
CREDITS (Exports of goods & services)
Trend estimates
19 126
19 455
19 759
2
Seasonally adjusted
18 386
19 333
20 446
6
DEBITS (Imports of goods & services)
Trend estimates
21 451
21 664
21 792
1
Seasonally adjusted
21 606
21 880
21 403
-2


Balance on Goods and Services
Graph: Balance on Goods and Services



APRIL KEY POINTS


BALANCE ON GOODS AND SERVICES
  • The trend estimate of the balance on goods and services was a deficit of $2,034m in April 2008, a decrease of $175m (8%) on the revised deficit in March 2008.
  • In seasonally adjusted terms, the balance on goods and services was a deficit of $957m in April 2008, a decrease of $1,591m (62%) on the revised deficit in March 2008.
  • The decrease in the seasonally adjusted deficit was due to the rise in goods and services credits, mainly non-rural and other goods, and the fall in goods and services debits, mainly capital goods and consumption goods.


CREDITS (EXPORTS OF GOODS & SERVICES)
  • Seasonally adjusted, goods and services credits rose $1,113m (6%) to $20,446m. Non-rural and other goods rose $955m (7%) and rural goods rose $143m (6%). Services credits rose $16m.
  • The rise in non-rural and other goods was driven by coal, coke and briquettes, which rose $418m (23%) and non-monetary gold, which rose $285m (29%).


DEBITS (IMPORTS OF GOODS & SERVICES)
  • Seasonally adjusted, goods and services debits fell $477m (2%) to $21,403m. Capital goods fell $435m (10%) and consumption goods fell $323m (6%) while intermediate and other goods rose $254m (3%). Services debits rose $26m (1%).
  • The fall in capital goods was driven by civil aircraft, which fell $329m (77%), and machinery and industrial equipment, which fell $154m (10%).


NOTES

FORTHCOMING ISSUES

ISSUE Release Date
May 2008 3 July 2008
June 2008 31 July 2008
July 2008 4 September 2008
August 2008 2 October 2008
September 2008 5 November 2008
October 2008 4 December 2008



REVISIONS

Revisions were made to the previous six months to incorporate the latest available merchandise trade data.


Possible future revisions - Iron ore prices

The contract price of iron ore exports are normally set from 1 April each year but contracts for April 2008 are still being negotiated. In the past, the prices observed in the merchandise trade series have been revised once the contracts have been finalised. In 2006 contract negotiations also extended beyond April but were largely resolved prior to the release of May data. Consequently, an adjustment was included in the balance of payments series in anticipation of the final contract price. However, no adjustment has been included in the balance of payments series for April 2008 as the outcome of contract negotiations is not clear. It can be expected that there will be an upward revision to iron ore for April 2008 in subsequent months but the extent can not be determined at this stage.

In the merchandise trade series for April 2008, the value of iron ore and concentrates was up 3%, with volumes down 6% and prices up 10%.


INFORMATION PAPER

An information paper Impact of introducing Revision 4 of the Standard International Trade Classification (cat. no. 5368.0.55.010) was released on 26 May 2008. The paper outlines statistical impacts resulting from changes to the classification of Australian import and export statistics. This information paper can be accessed on the ABS web site www.abs.gov.au. The ABS will implement the changes to the classifications from the July 2008 reference month. This will impact on data released in this and related publications.


INQUIRIES

For further information contact Selvi Sekhar on Canberra (02) 62525540 for goods, and Karen McGuigan on Canberra (02) 6252 5415 for services.


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