Mining exports jumped in March

A solid growth in mineral exports and lower imports due to coronavirus-affected supply chains has resulted in Australia’s trade surplus more than doubling in March to a seasonally adjusted $10.6 billion.

The result bettered market expectations, with analysts forecasting a surplus of about $6 billion.

The economy recorded a trade surplus of $3.86 billion in February.

Exports of goods and services rose 15 per cent to $42.4 billion, data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics showed on Thursday.

The gains were led by iron ore exports, which jumped by nearly a third in March, as well as fuel, coal and general merchandise exports.

But exports of travel and transport services registered a sharp drop as the global COVID-19 pandemic restrictions shut down international travel. 

Imports of goods and services were also down 4.0 per cent to $31.8 billion.

This was mainly contributed by a decline in imports of capital goods, industrial supplies and merchandise goods as a shutdown in China since January affected supply chains.

The Australian dollar was unaffected, trading nearly unchanged 64.03 US cents after the data release.

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