Export commodity prices increase current account surplus

Media Release

Australia's current account surplus increased by $15.6 billion to $18.3 billion (seasonally adjusted, current prices) in the June quarter 2022, according to latest figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

Balance of Payments components

Australia recorded its 13th consecutive current account surplus in the June 2022 quarter, the longest period on record. The balance on goods and services increased $16.3b to reach the highest balance on record, driven by strong export prices. The terms of trade rose 4.6% reaching its highest level on record.

Grace Kim, acting head of international statistics at the ABS, said: “The increase in the current account surplus was driven by higher commodity prices. Coal prices were elevated over the 2021-22 financial year, with annual exports of Coal exceeding $100 billion for the first time.”

Exports of goods and services increased 14.7 per cent, with rises across Mining and Agricultural commodities as global supply constraints increased demand for Australian commodities. Travel services also contributed to the rise in exports as education related and personal travel continued to recover following the reopening of Australia’s international borders earlier in the year.

Imports of goods and services increased 4.6 per cent as Australians resumed overseas travel after prolonged border closures. Despite the rise, Travel services remained 59.5 per cent below pre-pandemic levels of December quarter 2019. Imports of Fuel and lubricants contributed to the rise, driven by demand for diesel and kerosene as international and domestic travel continued to increase.

(a) Seasonally adjusted estimates at current prices.

The net primary income deficit widened further to $24.0 billion in the June quarter 2022. Ms Kim added “The net primary income deficit reached record levels with high dividend payments to non-residents as profits remained strong on the back of higher commodity prices.”

The financial account deficit increased by $11.3 billion to $18.7 billion in the June quarter 2022. This was driven by a net outflow of equity of $1.6 billion and a net outflow of debt of $17.1 billion.

(a) Trend series is not published from June Quarter 2019

(b) Seasonally adjusted

Contribution to Gross Domestic Product

The rise in the balance on goods and services surplus of $5.1 billion (seasonally adjusted chain volume measure) is expected to contribute 1.0 percentage points to the June quarter 2022 GDP quarterly movement.

International Investment Position (IIP)

Australia's net IIP liability position was $834.4 billion at June quarter 2022, a decrease of $19.1 billion. This reflected the rise in foreign assets outpacing the rise in foreign liabilities. Australia's net foreign equity asset position increased $34.3 billion to $323.3 billion at June quarter 2022. Australia's net foreign debt liability position increased $15.3 billion to $1,157.7 billion.

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