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Balance of Payments and International Investment Position, Australia

Balance of payments statistics on current, capital and financial transactions and the international investment position statement

Reference period
March 2022
Released
31/05/2022
  • Next Release 6/09/2022
    Balance of Payments and International Investment Position, Australia, June 2022
  • Next Release 6/12/2022
    Balance of Payments and International Investment Position, Australia, September 2022
  • Next Release 28/02/2023
    Balance of Payments and International Investment Position, Australia, December 2022
  • View all releases

Key statistics

  • The current account surplus, seasonally adjusted, fell $5,703m to $7,532m.
  • The capital and financial account deficit fell $8,406m to $2,921m.
  • Australia’s net international investment liability position was $821,322m at 31 March 2022.

Main features

Key figures (a)
 Dec 21 ($m)Mar 22 ($m)
Balance on current account (b)13,2357,532
Balance on goods and services (b)29,14828,229
Net primary income (b)-15,167-20,025
Capital and financial account-11,327-2,921
International investment position (c)809,742821,322

(a) Trend series is not published from June Quarter 2019
(b) Seasonally adjusted
(c) Levels at end of period

(a) Seasonally adjusted estimates at current prices.

COVID-19 in this publication

Suspension of trend estimates

The trend series attempts to measure underlying behaviour of international trade activity. In the short term, this measurement will be significantly affected by the current COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent changes to regular patterns in international trade that will occur during this time. If the trend estimates in this publication were to be calculated without fully accounting for this unusual event, they would provide a misleading view of underlying international trade activity.

It may be some time before the underlying trend in international trade activity can be accurately estimated. The trend series has therefore been suspended from June quarter 2019 and will be reinstated when more certainty emerges in the underlying trend in international trade.

Seasonal adjustment and COVID-19

International Accounts uses the concurrent seasonal adjustment method, meaning that seasonal factors are re-estimated each time new data becomes available. If not appropriately accounted for, unusual events, such as COVID-19, can distort estimates calculated using this method. From March quarter 2020, seasonal factors for series with significant and prolonged impacts from COVID-19 will be calculated using the forward factor method.

The ABS has advised users that it had moved to using forward factors for seasonal analysis of a number of series, including Travel Services. Current ABS (and international practice) requires at least three years of data to assess whether a change in the seasonal pattern has occurred. Should COVID-19 result in a long-term change to the seasonal pattern then revisions to these series may occur in the future. The ABS will consult with users on any future methods changes to seasonal adjustment and potential revisions.

For more information on interpreting seasonally adjusted estimates of International travel services please see the May 2020 feature article International Travel Services time series which outlines the matter in greater detail.

Changes in this issue

Price Index Differences

The ABS is aware that since December quarter 2021 there have been differences between the Export Price Index (EPI) and Implicit Price Deflator (IPD) for Coal (Coal, coke & briquettes) and LNG (Other mineral fuels). With the current price volatility of bulk commodities and ongoing global uncertainty, the March quarter National Accounts and Balance of Payments volumes for Coal and LNG exports have been compiled using movements in the quantity data reported on Customs declarations. The ABS is undertaking further analysis on Coal and LNG export prices and will communicate the outcomes of the analysis in the next International Trade Price Index publication.

Review of seasonal adjustment

In early 2020 the ABS advised that the method used to produce seasonally adjusted estimates would be changed from the ‘concurrent adjustment’ method to the ‘forward factors’ method for series with significant and prolonged impacts from COVID-19. Given the ongoing disruption during the COVID-19 period and continuing use of forward factors, extraordinary annual reviews of seasonally adjusted series are progressively being undertaken across the ABS statistics programs. 

The extraordinary annual review process assesses each series individually to determine how observations from 2020 and 2021 should be treated and determine the most appropriate approach (concurrent adjustment or forward factors) for estimating seasonal adjustment factors in the immediate future. Revisions arising from the annual review are relatively minor for most series, but series which have used forward factors are likely to have larger revisions because the seasonal factor estimates are annually updated to incorporate information from the previous year's observations. 

The outcome of the review for Balance of Payments statistics is that the forward factor method will continue to be used for the Travel Services (credits and debits), Transport - passenger (credits and debits) and State Services (credits and debits). New forward factors have been calculated for the next 12 months and will be used from the March 2022 reference quarter.

Further information can be found here.

Current Account

Balance on current account in current prices, seasonally adjusted (a) - March quarter 2022
   Dec 21 ($m)Mar 22 ($m)Dec 21 to Mar 22 ($m)
Balance on current account13,2357,532-5,703
Balance on goods and services29,14828,229-919
Net goods30,71030,872162
Net Services-1,562-2,644-1,082
Net primary income-15,167-20,025-4,858
Net secondary income-747-67176

(a) For sign conventions, see the Concepts section in the Explanatory notes in the Methodology.

Terms of trade

Australia's seasonally adjusted terms of trade on net goods and services for the March quarter 2022 rose 5.9% to 122.9, with an increase of 9.6% in the implicit price deflator (IPD) for goods and services credits and an increase of 3.5% in the IPD for goods and services debits. 

(a) Seasonally adjusted, reference year 2019-20 = 100

Relationship between IPD, EPI and IPI

Differences between the IPD and International Trade Price Indexes can arise due to a number of methodological factors, including differences in pricing points, timing, coverage and weights.

Price comparison (QoQ % change)
 Implicit price deflators (a)Implicit price deflators (a)Chain Laspeyres Indexes (b)International Trade Price Indexes (b)
 Seasonally AdjustedOriginalOriginalOriginal
Goods exports10.814.914.918.0
Services exports0.60.60.2na
Goods imports3.74.65.35.1
Services imports2.73.1-0.9na

na not available
(a) Reference year 2019-20 = 100.
(b) Source: International Trade Price Indexes, Australia (cat. no. 6457.0).

(a) Reference year 2019-20 = 100
(b) Source: International Trade Price Indexes, Australia.

Balance on goods and services

In seasonally adjusted chain volume terms, the balance on goods and services was a surplus of $560m, a fall of $8,917m on the revised December quarter 2021 surplus of $9,477m.

The fall in the balance on goods and services surplus of $8.9 billion (seasonally adjusted chain volume measure) is expected to detract 1.7 percentage points from the March quarter 2022 GDP quarterly movement. 

(a) Seasonally adjusted, reference year 2019-20.

Exports of goods (credits)

In seasonally adjusted terms at current prices, goods credits rose $11,384m (9.3%) to $133,523m, with volumes down 1.3% and prices up 10.8%.

Goods credits, price and volume change - seasonally adjusted - March quarter 2022
  Current prices ($m)Current prices (%)Chain volume measures (a) (%)Implicit price deflators (a)(b)(%)
Exports of goods11,3849.3-1.310.8
 Rural goods1,1067.1-2.09.2
 Non-rural goods10,71410.7-0.411.1
 Net exports of goods under merchanting(c)-4-4.1-20.921.2
 Non-monetary gold(c)-432-6.6-10.84.8

(a) Reference year 2019-20 = 100
(b) Movements in indexes are based on data to four decimal places
(c) This component is not seasonally adjusted

Rural goods

Rural goods, current price (seasonally adjusted)
  Dec 21 ($m)Mar 22 ($m)Dec 21 to Mar 22 ($m)Dec 21 to Mar 22 (%)
Rural goods15,60116,7071,1067.1
 Meat and meat preparations3,9723,989170.4
 Cereal grains and cereal preparations4,5844,132-452-9.9
 Wool and sheepskins807792-15-1.9
 Other rural(a)6,2377,7941,55725.0

(a) For all time periods, estimates for sugar, sugar preparations and honey are included in Other non-rural.

Non-rural goods

Non-rural goods, current price (seasonally adjusted)
  Dec 21 ($m)Mar 22 ($m)Dec 21 to Mar 22 ($m)Dec 21 to Mar 22 (%)
Non-rural goods99,876110,59010,71410.7
 Metal ores and minerals(a)35,76342,2836,52018.2
 Coal, coke and briquettes(a)25,10727,9342,82711.3
 Other mineral fuels(a)(b)22,26621,677-589-2.6
 Metals (excl. non-monetary gold)3,2443,60636211.2
 Machinery2,7172,9822659.8
 Transport equipment9521,10515316.1
 Other manufactures5,4576,41595817.6
 Other non-rural (incl. sugar and beverages)(c)(d)3,6803,737571.5
 Goods procured in ports by carriers(b)68985116223.5

(a) From September 2019 onwards, separate seasonally adjusted factors for current price and chain volume measures are applied.
(b) In using these seasonally adjusted series, care should be exercised because of the difficulties associated with reliably estimating the seasonal pattern.
(c) For all time periods, estimates for sugar, sugar preparations and honey are included in Other non-rural. 
(d) This component is not seasonally adjusted.

(a) Seasonally adjusted

Imports of goods (debits)

In seasonally adjusted terms at current prices, goods debits rose $11,222m (12.3%) to $102,651m, with volumes up 8.3% and prices up 3.7%.

Goods debits, price and volume change - seasonally adjusted - March quarter 2022
  Current prices ($m)Current prices (%)Chain volume measures (a) (%)Implicit price deflators (a)(b)(%)
Total Goods Imports11,22212.38.33.7
 Consumption goods4,86017.514.92.3
 Capital goods1,3666.35.01.2
 Intermediate and other merchandise goods4,70411.65.16.2
 Non-monetary gold(c)29120.714.95.0

(a) Reference year 2019-20 = 100
(b) Movements in indexes are based on data to four decimal places
(c) This component is not seasonally adjusted

Consumption goods

Consumption goods(a), seasonally adjusted
 Dec 21 ($m)Mar 22 ($m)Dec 21 to Mar 22 ($m)Dec 21 to Mar 22 (%)
Consumption goods-27,708-32,5684,86017.5
 Food and beverages, mainly for consumption-3,969-4,52355414.0
 Household electrical items-1,617-2,16154433.6
 Non-industrial transport equipment-5,860-7,8391,97933.8
 Textiles, clothing and footwear-5,190-5,6554659.0
 Toys, books and leisure goods-2,005-2,1681638.1
 Consumption goods n.e.s.-9,066-10,2221,15612.8

(a) For sign conventions, see the Explanatory notes.

Capital goods

Capital goods(a), seasonally adjusted
 Dec 21 ($m)Mar 22 ($m)Dec 21 to Mar 22 ($m)Dec 21 to Mar 22 (%)
Capital goods-21,708-23,0741,3666.3
 Machinery and industrial equipment-6,607-7,6571,05015.9
 ADP equipment-3,599-3,9023038.4
 Telecommunications equipment-3,551-3,8002497.0
 Civil aircraft and confidentialised items(b)(c)-2,019-1,612-407-20.2
 Industrial transport equipment n.e.s.-3,967-3,785-182-4.6
 Capital goods n.e.s.(d)-1,964-2,31835418.0

(a) For sign conventions, see the Explanatory notes.
(b) From July 2008, commodities subject to a 'no commodity details' or 'no value details' restriction are included in Civil aircraft and confidentialised items. For earlier periods, commodities subject to a 'no commodity details' or 'no value details' restriction are included in Other merchandise goods.
(c) This component is not seasonally adjusted.
(d) In using these seasonally adjusted series, care should be exercised because of the difficulties associated with reliably estimating the seasonal pattern.

Intermediate and other merchandise goods

Intermediate and other merchandise goods(a), seasonally adjusted
 Dec 21 ($m)Mar 22 ($m)Dec 21 to Mar 22 ($m)Dec 21 to Mar 22 (%)
Intermediate and other merchandise goods-40,607-45,3114,70411.6
 Food and beverages, mainly for industry-581-631508.6
 Primary industrial supplies n.e.s.(b)-872-554-318-36.5
 Fuels and lubricants(c)-11,328-12,1838557.5
 Parts for transport equipment-3,638-3,8331955.4
 Parts for ADP equipment-257-237-20-7.8
 Other parts for capital goods-5,327-5,5662394.5
 Organic and inorganic chemicals-1,417-1,76034324.2
 Paper and paperboard-624-646223.5
 Textile yarn and fabrics-424-4785412.7
 Iron and steel-1,501-1,401-100-6.7
 Plastics-1,489-1,6151268.5
 Processed industrial supplies n.e.s.-12,965-16,2923,32725.7
 Other merchandise goods(d)(e)-152-79-73-48.0
 Goods procured in ports by carriers(c)-31-38722.6

(a) For sign conventions, see the Explanatory Notes.
(b) In using these seasonally adjusted series, care should be exercised because of the difficulties associated with reliably estimating the seasonal pattern.
(c) Prior to March quarter 2010 this component is not seasonally adjusted.
(d) From July 2008, commodities subject to a 'no commodity details' or 'no value details' restriction are included in Civil aircraft and confidentialised items. For earlier periods, commodities subject to a 'no commodity details' or 'no value details' restriction are included in Other merchandise goods.
(e) From July 1981, this component is not seasonally adjusted.

Services

Services exports, price and volume change - seasonally adjusted - March quarter 2022
  Current prices ($m)Current prices (%)Chain volume measures (a) (%)Implicit price deflators (a)(b)(%)
Exports of services4183.02.30.6
 Manufacturing services on physical inputs owned by others(c)-5-100.0--
 Maintenance and repair services n.i.e.(c)-3-30.0-30.00.6
 Transport838.410.5-1.9
 Travel3798.06.91.2
 Other services-35-0.4-1.00.6

- nil (including null cells)
(a) Reference year 2019-20 = 100
(b) Movements in indexes are based on data to four decimal places
(c) This component is not seasonally adjusted

Services imports, price and volume change - seasonally adjusted - March quarter 2022
  Current prices ($m)Current prices (%)Chain volume measures (a) (%)Implicit price deflators (a)(b)(%)
Imports of services1,5009.66.82.6
 Manufacturing services on physical inputs owned by others(c)----
 Maintenance and repair services n.i.e.(c)-26-20.5-21.92.0
 Transport1,26721.134.3-9.9
 Travel9723.321.11.7
 Other services1621.8-0.22.0

- nil (including null cells)
(a) Reference year 2019-20 = 100
(b) Movements in indexes are based on data to four decimal places
(c) This component is not seasonally adjusted

Income

The primary income deficit rose by $4,858m to $20,025m in the March quarter 2022.

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

(b) Seasonally adjusted

Primary income credits

In seasonally adjusted terms at current prices, income to residents (credits) rose $319m (1.5%) to $20,998m. The main components contributing to this rise were:

  • Direct investment assets - income on equity and investment fund shares; up $750m (8.8%)
  • Portfolio investment assets - interest; down $308m (17.8%)
  • Portfolio investment assets - investment income on equity and investment fund shares; down $180m (2.0%)

Primary income debits

In seasonally adjusted terms at current prices income to non-residents (debits) rose $5,177m (14.4%) to $41,023m. The main components contributing to this rise were:

  • Portfolio investment liabilities - investment income on equity and investment fund shares; up $2,732m (48.6%)
  • Direct investment liabilities - income on equity and investment fund shares; up $2,661m (12.0%)
  • Portfolio investment liabilities - interest; down $327m (6.6%)

Secondary income

In seasonally adjusted terms at current prices, the net secondary income deficit fell $76m to $671m in the March quarter 2022. 

Capital and Financial Account

The capital and financial account recorded a deficit of $2.9b during the March 2022 quarter, mainly driven by the financial account deficit of $2.7b. 

The financial account deficit narrowed due to a $3.6b net outflow of debt partially offset by a $0.9b net inflow of equity.

 

Capital and financial account
   Jun-21Sep-21Dec-21Mar-22Qtr on Qtr
   ($m)($m)($m)($m)($m)
Capital account-260-160-41-188-147
 Acquisitions/disposals of non-produced non-financial assets-4251390-139
  Acquisitions/disposals of non-produced non-financial assets credits951420-142
  Acquisitions/disposals of non-produced non-financial assets debits-510-303
 Capital transfers-218-165-180-188-8
  Capital transfers credits00000
  Capital transfers debits-218-165-180-188-8
Financial account-25,965-15,443-11,286-2,7338,553
 Direct investment5,498-8,43013,564-28,831-42,395
  Direct investment assets3,070-17,149-9,658-110,823-101,165
  Direct investment liabilities2,4298,71923,22281,99258,770
 Portfolio investment-33,335-1,942-17,68636,55154,237
  Portfolio investment assets-49,559-39,343-61,344-28,20133,143
  Portfolio investment liabilities16,22437,40143,65764,75321,096
 Financial derivatives2,469222-7,476-3,7353,741
  Financial derivatives assets51,70745,90435,17942,6017,422
  Financial derivatives liabilities-49,238-45,682-42,656-46,336-3,680
 Other investment-1,35112,0852,029-6,119-8,148
  Other investment assets-7,123-24,185-3,496-23,339-19,843
  Other investment liabilities5,77236,2705,52517,22011,695
 Reserve assets754-17,378-1,717-5991,118
 Net errors and omissions-1,347-2,9521,552-4,817-6,369

International Investment Position

Australia's net IIP liability position was $821.3b at 31 March 2022, an increase of $11.6b on the revised 31 December 2021 figure of $809.7b. Australia's net foreign equity asset position decreased $88.4b to $307.4b at 31 March 2022. Australia's net foreign debt liability position decreased $76.8b to $1,128.7b.

International investment position, by net foreign equity and net foreign debt
  Position at beginning of periodTransactionsPrice changesExchange rate changesOther adjustmentsPosition at end of period
  ($m)($m)($m)($m)($m)($m)
Net International Investment PositionSep-21896,778-15,44312,073-13,778263879,893
Net International Investment PositionDec-21879,893-11,286-65,5598,560-1,867809,742
Net International Investment PositionMar-22809,742-2,733-18,35741,993-9,323821,322
        
Net Foreign EquitySep-21-295,741-20,23214,486-27,173-541-329,200
Net Foreign EquityDec-21-329,200-34,396-42,47511,916-1,655-395,810
Net Foreign EquityMar-22-395,81091638,18558,986-9,672-307,395
        
Net Foreign DebtSep-211,192,5194,789-2,41313,3958041,209,093
Net Foreign DebtDec-211,209,09323,110-23,083-3,356-2121,205,552
Net Foreign DebtMar-221,205,552-3,649-56,541-16,9943491,128,716
        

Supplementary Information

Value adjustments

Goods credits data presented in this publication are based on information provided by exporters to the Department of Home Affairs (Home Affairs). At the time of initial reporting to Home Affairs, the final prices at which transactions take place are not known for some commodities. Final quantity and/or unit price information is updated progressively in international merchandise trade data as exporters revise the information provided to Home Affairs.

For commodities such as iron ore and coal, newly negotiated contract prices are not fully reflected in data first reported to Home Affairs. When additional information on quantity and/or unit price for these commodities is available, the ABS may adjust the data to reflect actual transaction values.

Iron ore adjustments are applied on an international merchandise trade basis at the Australian Harmonized Export Commodity Classification (AHECC) level. Coal, coke and briquettes are adjusted on a balance of payments basis in original current price terms. When actual final transaction prices become available estimates are replaced with these data.

In most instances, transfer of ownership occurs when goods cross the customs frontier. In certain circumstances the ownership of large value capital expenditure items can occur prior to the items crossing the customs frontier. The ABS may adjust the relevant balance of payments series to record the timing when transfer of ownership was affected.

Exports on an international merchandise trade basis

Iron ore (in original terms)

  • Adjustments have been applied to iron ore lumps in the December quarter 2021 (+$80m) and March quarter 2022 (+$15m). 
  • Adjustments have been applied to iron ore fines in the December quarter 2021 (+$180m) and March quarter 2022 (+$330m). 
  • When actual final transaction prices become available estimates are replaced with these data.

Goods on a balance of payments basis

Coal (in original terms)

  • Adjustments have been applied to coal, coke and briquettes in the balance of payments series for the December quarter (+$75m) and the March quarter (+$2,885m) 2022. All previous adjustments have been removed.

Capital expenditure (in original terms)

  • The balance of payments goods debits component capital goods n.e.s. includes an estimate of expenditure on capital goods that have changed ownership but have not yet crossed the customs frontier.

Other mineral fuels (in original terms)

  • Adjustments have been applied to other mineral fuels (+$1,000m) in the balance of payments series for the March quarter 2022.

Revisions

The following goods component has been revised since the release of the March 2022 issue of International Trade in Goods and Services, Australia.

  • Capital goods n.e.s. of good debits, revised in the March quarter 2022
  • Other mineral fuels of good credits, revised in the March quarter 2022. 

Summary of revisions since the last issue of this publication

Table 28 summarises revisions, in original current price terms, since the last issue of this publication.

Incorporation of the latest survey and administrative data has resulted in revisions to the balance of payments series back to the September quarter 2020. In original current price terms, these revisions have:

  • increased the current account surplus for the September quarter 2020 by $4m 
  • decreased the current account surplus for the December quarter 2020 by $44m 
  • decreased the current account surplus for the March quarter 2021 by $114m 
  • decreased the current account surplus for the June quarter 2021 by $247m 
  • decreased the current account surplus for the September quarter 2021 by $1,061m 
  • increased the current account surplus for the December quarter 2021 by $863m. 

The International Investment Position (IIP) has been revised back to the September quarter 2020. These revisions have increased Australia's net IIP liability $346m to a net liability position of $809,742m at 31 December 2021. The financial account deficit has been revised up $4,996m to $11,286m at 31 December 2021.

Seasonally adjusted series have been revised due to the incorporation of revised estimates and the incorporation of estimates for the latest quarter.

In seasonally adjusted terms, the revisions decreased the volume surplus on goods and services by $1,720m for the December quarter 2021. 

Data in this issue aligns with the data in the March quarter 2022 issue of Australian National Accounts: National Income, Expenditure and Product (cat. no. 5206.0) to be released on 1 June 2022.

Economic conditions

CountryMSCI quarterly percentage change (a)(%)AUD exchange rate quarterly percentage change (b)(%)
Australia2.17na
United States of America-5.553.11
United Kingdom3.506.10
Europe-10.354.57
China-13.922.72
Japan-2.509.49
Singapore-1.423.35
India-0.125.12
New Zealand-10.761.23

OECD quarterly growth rates for select countries can be found through the following link: https://stats.oecd.org/index.aspx?queryid=350
(a) MSCI data based on local currency except for Europe which is based on $USD. MSCI data from https://www.msci.com/ 
(b) Exchange rates data from RBA: https://www.rba.gov.au/statistics/historical-data.html#exchange-rates

Data downloads

Time series spreadsheets

Data files

Previous catalogue number

This release previously used catalogue number 5302.0.