Australia’s trade surplus shrank to $5.223 billion in December, a drop of $295 million on the surplus in November 2019.
In seasonally adjusted terms, exports rose 1.0 per cent to $41.29 billion for the month and imports were up 2 per cent to $36.07 billion, the Australian Bureau of Statistics said on Thursday.
Westpac economist Andrew Hanlan said the result broadly met market expectations for a surplus of $5.5 billion.
He said a narrowing trade surplus was to be expected with commodity prices moderating in the quarter, notably iron ore, which had spiked in the June quarter due to the supply shock from Brazil.
“The key surprise for the month of December was around exports. Metal ores, gold and fuels all moved in the right direction …However, we were looking for stronger gains – based on partial information and mindful of a potential pre Lunar New Year bounce,” he said.