Exports of manufactures and services in the month of September were the highest on record in seasonally adjusted terms, the Australian Government Minister for Trade, Warren Truss, said.
Manufactured goods rose by 3 percent to $3.9 billion, with metals exports doing best, up 6 percent. Services exports rose 1 percent ($49 million) to $4.2 billion in September. All services components contributed to the rise.
Australia recorded its tenth best exporting month on record in September, with sales of $17.9 billion. However, a fall in resources exports saw trade deficit widen by $197 million to $1.9 billion. Imports fell by three percent to $19.8 billion.
There was a welcome increase in rural exports, rising by seven percent or $126 million to $2 billion in September. The best performers were cereals and cereal grains, up 39 percent, and meat, up 3 percent.
The biggest fall was in resources exports, down 8 percent or $522 million to $5.9 billion. In the sectors, crude oil exports were down 41 percent and liquid natural gas down 38 percent.
It is not clear why crude oil and natural gas exports were down by so much and they would be expected to rebound next month.
Coal exports partially offset these falls, rising 4 percent or $74 million.
Gold exports, which are usually volatile month to month, fell by 28 percent or $306 million.
Goods exports to North Asia rose 8 percent in the 12 months to September 2007. Goods exports to China rose 22 per cent and to Korea rose 11 per cent.
In the year to September 2007, exports are up 7 per cent compared with the same period to September 2006. Imports have also risen by 7 per cent.
“It is encouraging to see continuing growth in the export in our services and manufacturing sectors which continue to perform strongly,” Mr Truss said.
“The trade policy that I announced yesterday includes a range of specific initiatives to support services exports and I am convinced that services will play an increasingly important role in our export earnings in the years ahead.”