Australia's goods trade surplus hits 2-year lows on China trade tensions

Reuters

Posted at Dec 23 2020 04:08 PM

Australia's goods trade surplus hits 2-year lows on China trade tensions 1
China and Australia flags together despite escalating trade tensions between the two nations. File photo

SYDNEY - Australia's trade surplus for goods fell to a two-year low in November, hit by a slump in exports to top trading partner China, which imposed a number of restrictions in an escalating trade dispute.

Preliminary data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) on Wednesday showed goods trade surplus slipped to A$1.9 billion ($1.43 billion) in November from A$4.7 billion in October.

This is the first time since November 2018 that the goods trade surplus has dropped below the A$2-billion mark.

The drop was led by a A$1.2 billion, or 10 percent, decrease in exports to China combined with an A$889 million, or 11 percent, increase in imports from the Asian heavyweight, the ABS said.

China has put a stop on Australian coal while imposing hefty tariffs on a range of farm products including barley, beef, lobsters and wine, angered by Australia's calls for a global inquiry into the origins of the coronavirus.