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Trade surplus touches new high on iron ore demand

Record demand for iron ore has lifted Australia’s goods trade surplus to a new peak of $13.3 billion.

Australian Bureau of Statistics preliminary figures for the month of June show exports ballooned eight per cent to $41.3 billion, with significant increases in metalliferous ores, coal, non-monetary gold and gas.

Exports of metalliferous ores reached $20.5 billion, marking a fourth consecutive record monthly increase and making up almost half of Australia’s total exports.

Driving the increase was iron ore, with a record export value of $17.6 billion, and copper ore at $847 million.

The trade surplus was also aided by a 37 per cent increase in the price of copper, driven by demand for green technologies and limited supplies.

The value of iron ore shipments to China rose by seven per cent to a record $14.9 billion, which was predominantly driven by price, which remains comfortably above $US200 per tonne.

Imports to Australia also rose by eight per cent to $28 billion in June, led by a 51 per cent increase in fuel shipments.

This included a 45 per cent increase in diesel and a 46 per cent in crude oil, which lifted petroleum imports back to pre-COVID-19 levels.

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