Data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics shows that Australia recorded a $22.2 billion trade surplus in 2018, the nation’s highest ever for a calendar year.
Australia’s two-way trade in goods and services also hit a record high of $854 billion in 2018.
The results show that Australia delivered 12 monthly trade surpluses in 2018, and 22 in the last 24 months. 2018 was also the first calendar year since 1972 where every month was in surplus.
Increased resource exports including metals, ores and minerals ($94.9 billion) and Coal, coke and briquettes ($66.7 billion), along with rural goods such as meat ($13.6 billion) and cereals ($7.3 billion) helped contribute to Australia’s strong 2018 result.
Natural gas exports grew by 69.5 percent to become Australia’s third largest export.
Australia’s services industries also continue to enjoy strong growth with services exports growing by 9.3 per cent to $92.9 billion in 2018.
China remained Australia’s top trading partner, a position it has held since 2009. Two-way merchandise trade with China was valued at $192.1 billion, or 29 per cent of Australia’s total merchandise trade. Increases in merchandise exports were recorded with nearly all our key trading partners.
Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment Simon Birmingham said trade continued to play a critical role in Australia’s continued economic success having contributed over one-quarter of Australia’s economic growth over the past five years.
“Australian farmers and businesses exporters should be congratulated for these strong results illustrating the unabated and competitive edge our exporters have on the world-stage,” Birmingham said.
“Australia now routinely records monthly trade surpluses, and we want to make sure that we keep that trend going in 2019. That’s why we continue to pursue a trade agenda that opens new markets for Australian exporters across a wide range of industries, helping to build a stronger economy and create more Australian jobs.”