Date : 24/02/2021

Why did Australia’s exports decline in January?

Imports and exports of goods fell by 10% and 9%, respectively in January 2021 according to data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS). The export of metalliferous ores dipped by $1.5 billion, that is, 10%. This resulted in total exports declining to $3 billion for the beginning of the year. This decrease in the export of metalliferous ores is to be driven by a fall in quantity of iron ore exported in January. Despite this fall, the metalliferous ores export is still estimated to be the second highest on record, behind December 2020.

Meat and coal exports were also down – by 39% and 8%, respectively. A seasonal pattern as many Australian close for business in December results in a decline in meat export in January. Coal on the other hand declined by virtue of Australia’s 3 largest export markets – Japan, India, South Korea reporting decline in demand for the controversial commodity. The decline in road vehicles up to 23% drove a 10% reduction in coal imports to $2.6 billion.

Imports of general industrial machinery were down 16 percent and that of miscellaneous manufactured articles decreased 13 percent. On a yearly basis, exports grew 13 percent, while imports fell 7 percent in January. The goods trade surplus stood at $8.8 billion. On the whole, Australia’s economy in 2021 continues to recover from the depths of the pandemic induced recession.

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