Preliminary merchandise trade rebounds in March


Australia’s merchandise (goods) exports rose $8 billion or 29 per cent in March 2020, according to the latest Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) preliminary international trade figures.

The preliminary figures reflect a significant rise in exports from the resources sector. Among the key movers were exports of iron ore to China, Australia’s largest trading partner, which increased significantly following declines in January and February.

There were also large increases in the value of exports of coal, gas and petroleum, and strong exports of non-monetary gold, particularly to Hong Kong and the United Kingdom.

The value of goods imported also increased in March 2020, up 10 per cent on February 2020, due to increases in the value of imports of non-monetary gold, aircraft and consumer electronics such as laptop computers and mobile phones.

This publication forms part of the suite of new products made available by the ABS to help the community and governments understand the impact of, and economic responses to the coronavirus, COVID-19.

The ABS would like to thank all those who contributed to this data.

Media note

  • The estimates in this publication are on an original, current price (merchandise trade) basis only, not a Balance of Payments (BoP) basis. This means that the data is on a customs basis, whereas BoP data are derived from the customs data by applying adjustments for factors such as valuation, coverage, timing and residence. The official monthly estimate for March will be published on 7 May 2020 in International Trade in Goods and Services, Australia (cat no. 5368.0). Future preliminary international merchandise trade estimates, will be published approximately two weeks prior to the advertised release date of International Trade in Goods and Services, Australia (cat no. 5368.0).
  • When reporting ABS data, the Australian Bureau of Statistics (or ABS) must be attributed as the source.
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