Australia is on track to record a fifth consecutive year of trade surpluses as November data showed ongoing strength in metals shipments, driven by higher prices.
The windfall came in at A$13.2 billion ($9.1 billion), exceeding economists’ estimates for A$11.3 billion, Australian Bureau of Statistics data showed Thursday. Overall exports were little changed, while imports declined 1% in November.
Australia has posted monthly trade windfalls since January 2018, underpinned by sales of iron ore and natural gas. The nation is also a major exporter of commodities like wheat that have advanced amid concerns that war-ravaged Ukraine would be unable to ship its harvest.
The gains have aided Australia’s budget outlook, with both its debt and deficit position among the best in the developed world. Treasurer Jim Chalmers has said elevated energy prices are good for national income but bad for households.
Today’s trade report showed the value of metal ores and minerals climbed 7.9% in the month.