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International Merchandise Trade, Preliminary, Australia

Contains preliminary monthly aggregate estimates of international merchandise trade

Reference period
July 2020

Key statistics

  • Exports of goods in July 2020 declined from the revised June 2020 estimate of $31,070 by $1,966m (-6%) to $29,104m.
  • Imports of goods in July 2020 increased from the revised June 2020 estimate of $23,327m by $2,482m (11%) to $25,809m.

Main features

This release provides preliminary estimates for Australian international merchandise trade for the month of July 2020 to help measure the economic impact of coronavirus (COVID-19). These estimates are compiled from administrative data (customs records) sourced from the Department of Home Affairs and are subject to revision. The final July monthly estimates will be published in International Trade in Goods and Services, Australia (cat. no. 5368.0) on 3 September 2020.

Preliminary July key points and figures

Preliminary trade in goods (original, current prices)

  • The preliminary figures show that the value of exports declined $1,966m (-6%) to $29,104m from the revised June 2020 value of $31,070m. Year-on-year, the July 2020 figure declined $6,239m (-18%) from July 2019.
  • The value of goods imported increased by $2,482m (11%) to $25,809m on the revised June 2020 value of $23,327m. Year-on-year, the July 2020 figure declined $540m (-2%) from July 2019.
  • The decline in exports and increase in imports in July 2020 lead to a goods trade surplus of $3,295m (original, current price, merchandise trade basis).
     

Preliminary international trade in goods summary (a)

   May 2019Jun 2019Jul 2019 May 2020Jun 2020Jul 2020 Jun to Jul 2020
   $m$m$m $m$m$m $m%
Original current prices
EXPORTS          
 Total goods
34 039
35 092
35 343
 
28 931
31 070
29 104
 
-1 966
- 6
  Rural goods
4 210
3 883
3 880
 
3 697
3 607
3 037
 
- 570
- 16
  Non-rural goods (b)
28 142
29 558
28 726
 
23 821
25 103
22 453
 
-2 650
- 11
  Non-monetary gold (c)
1 688
1 651
2 737
 
1 413
2 361
3 614
 
1 253
53
IMPORTS          
 Total goods
26 714
23 656
26 349
 
21 977
23 327
25 809
 
2 482
11
  Capital goods (d)
7 104
6 059
6 063
 
5 536
5 749
6 543
 
794
14
  Consumption goods
8 163
7 121
8 475
 
6 413
7 221
8 463
 
1 242
17
  Intermediate & other goods
10 969
9 865
11 024
 
8 770
9 552
9 697
 
145
2
  Non-monetary gold
 478
 610
 787
 
1 257
 806
1 106
 
300
37
- nil or rounded to zero (including null cells)
a. Caution should be used when interpreting preliminary estimates as they may be different to the final published estimates, and are subject to revision.
b. For all time periods, confidentialised export items are included in Non-rural goods, whether or not this reflects their true nature.
c. Includes Gold coin.
d. For all time periods, confidentialised import items are included in Capital goods, whether or not this reflects their true nature.
 

Preliminary exports (original, current price)

  • Exports of goods in July 2020 declined from the revised June 2020 estimate of $31,070 by $1,966m (-6%) to $29,104m.
  • The decline in July 2020 was driven by exports of metalliferous ores, down $1,500m (-12%). This in turn was driven by declines in iron ore (lumps and fines), down $934m (-9%) and copper, down $271m (-36%) following record export values for both these commodities in June 2020.
  • Other significant declines in July include: coal down $675m (-17%); cereals, down $230m (-40%) with large declines in wheat; and gas, down $229m (-8%).
  • These declines were partially offset by an increase in exports of non-monetary gold (excluding gold coin), up $1,261m (55%) to $3,545m. While exports of non-monetary gold are volatile and large month-to-month movements are not uncommon, exports in 2020 have been particularly strong with record highs recorded in March and then July 2020. The high value exports of non-monetary gold in July 2020 were driven by exports to the United States of America, which was up $1,293m.
  • Year-on-year, exports in July 2020 declined $6,239m (-18%) compared to July 2019. This was driven by falls across major resource commodities including: coal, down $2,358m (-42%); gas, down $1,648m (-39%); and metalliferous ores, down $1,098m (-9%). Year-on-year, exports of non-monetary gold were up $866m (32%).
     
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Preliminary exports - top 5 destination countries (original, current price)

  • From June to July 2020 exports to China declined $2,463m (-17%) to $11,758m, with significant declines in exports of: metalliferous ores, down $1,110 (-12%) to $8,121m; coal, down $653m (-42%) to $907m; and petroleum, down $108m (-86%) to $17m.
  • Over the same period, exports to both to United States of America and United Kingdom increased driven by exports of non-monetary gold, while exports to Japan and South Korea declined across a broad range of commodities.
     

For more information on exports by country see Table 3 available in the Data downloads section.

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Preliminary imports (original, current price)

  • Imports of goods in July 2020 increased from the revised June 2020 estimate of $23,327m by $2,482m (11%) to $25,809m.
  • The increase was partially driven by a large increase in imports of road vehicles, up $792m (49%) following low import values in May and June 2020 at the height of Australia’s COVID-19 restrictions. Despite the large month-on-month increase, imports of road vehicles in July 2020 still remain low by historical standards, down $803m (-25%) compared to July 2019.
  • Other large increases occurred in imports of: transport equipment, up $492m (223%) with the import of several aircraft; non-monetary gold, up $300m (37%); and petroleum, up $244m (15%).
  • Similar to road vehicles, imports of petroleum continue to recover from the low import values recorded in May 2020 and June 2020, but remain low by historical standards, with July 2020 down $1,369m (-42%) on July 2019.
  • Imports of textile yarn, fabrics and related products also increased, up $166m (29%) with July 2020 representing a record value for this series following three consecutive months of high values. Driving the increase are imports of commodities associated with personal protective equipment (PPE), including face masks.
  • Year-on-year imports in July 2020 declined by $540m (-2%) on July 2019 due largely to the significant declines in petroleum and road vehicles. In the same period imports of textile yarns, fabrics and related products have increased by $412m (127%), while imports of transport equipment and non-monetary gold also increased year-on-year, up $400m (128%) and $318m (40%) respectively.
     
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Preliminary imports - top 5 source countries (original, current price)

  • From June to July 2020 imports from China increased slightly, up $194m (3%) to $7,665m, with increases in imports of textile yarns, fabrics and related products up $134m (32%) to $554m and articles of apparel, up $76m (13%) to $656m, both of which include imports of personal protective equipment. These increases were partially offset by declines in chemical materials and telecommunications equipment.
  • Over the same period imports from the United States of America increased $862m (35%) driven by the import of transport equipment (including aircraft), up $453m (546%) and non-monetary gold, up $272m (729%).
  • Imports from both Germany and Japan increased driven by an increase in imports of road vehicles, up $59m and $305m respectively. While imports from Thailand also increased, driven by non-monetary gold up $157m and road vehicles up $27m.
     

For more information on imports by country see table 4, available in the Data downloads section.

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Timeline July 2020

The timeline below provides key processing time frames and publication dates for the July 2020 international trade in goods data.

Timeline July 2020

Timeline July 2020

Timeline July 2020

This timeline provides key processing timeframes and publication dates for the July 2020 international trade in goods data. The July 2020 data collection commenced at the start of July and was completed at the end of July. During mid-August, the merchandise (goods) trade statistics were compiled for July 2020.

In the third week of August (25 August 2020), preliminary international merchandise (goods) trade data was published (cat. no. 5368.0.55.024). Late August saw the balance of payments adjustments applied to the July data.

2 weeks after the preliminary international merchandise (goods) trade data were published, the July 2020 final international merchandise (goods) trade statistics published (cat. no. 5368.0) and detailed subscription data became available (3 September 2020).

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Data downloads

Table 1. Preliminary merchandise exports, standard international trade classification (1 and 2 digit), FOB value

Table 2. Preliminary merchandise imports, standard international trade classification (1 and 2 digit), customs value

Table 3. Preliminary merchandise exports, country and country groups, FOB value

Table 4. Preliminary merchandise imports, country and country groups, customs value

Previous catalogue number

This release previously used catalogue number 5368.0.55.024.