Australia’s trade surplus dropped 8.8 per cent in February to a seasonally adjusted $4.36 billion, reflecting the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Both exports and imports fell but not as dramatically as might have been expected,” Westpac economist Andrew Hanlan said.
Exports were down 4.7 per cent, or $1.9 billion, while imports dropped 4.3 per cent, or $1.5 billion.
Imports were down across the board as China’s coronavirus lockdown measures implemented in late January disrupted supply chains, Mr Hanlan said.
Travel was down $780 million, or 14 per cent, and lump iron ore exports fell $282 million, or 13 per cent, the Australian Bureau of Statistics said on Tuesday.
Exports of non-monetary gold fell $332 million, or 23 per cent.
Australia imported 4.0 per cent less goods and services, with imports of consumption goods falling 8.0 per cent to $701 million.