CANBERRA, AAP – Australia’s international trade surplus surged to a record $15.1 billion in August, buoyed by cereal grain exports, the Australian Bureau of Statistics says.

This compared with a $12.7 billion surplus in July and economist forecasts for a smaller $10 billion surplus in August.

Exports rose by four per cent in August, outpacing a one per cent increase in imports.

Exports were led by a 17 per cent increase in cereal grain exports.

“Supply and production disruptions affecting key wheat exporting nations continue to create advantageous conditions for Australian exporters,” the ABS said.

Mineral fuel exports rose 16 per cent, led by strong demand for LNG from Asian customers as economic activity rebounds from COVID-19-related disruptions.

There was also a 13 per cent increase in coal products.

“The increase in thermal coal also coincides with strong energy demand in Asia, as well as reduced supply from other key thermal coal producing nations,” the ABS said.