Australia just posted another massive trade deficit

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Australia’s just posted another massive trade deficit for the month of November with a print of $2.906 billion.

That’s an improvement of $341 million in seasonally adjusted terms, the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) said. It beat market forecasts for a deficit of $3.1 billion.

But November was also the 20th month in row that Australia incurred a trade deficit.

Helping to drive the overall improvement was the simultaneous increase in exports of goods and services which delivered a 1% ($160 million) lift in inbound credits to Australia, and a fall in imports of goods and services which delivered a 1% ($182 million) decrease in outbound debits from Australia.

“Other” rural goods was a big part of the improvement in the deficit posting an incredible 36% increase in exports. A large part of this was a huge uptick in fruit and vegetable exports which increased 146% in raw terms.

Also helping, although with a much smaller rise is the Australian dollar induced improvement in tourism which increases $29 million, 1%, over the month to $3.653 billion. But even with a lower Aussie dollar Australian’s love to travel and outbound tourism related payments also increase 1% to $3.133 billion.

On the rest of the debit side of the trade account it was a combination of factors, rather than any standout, that drove the improvement.

However, suggesting the economy is in reasonable shape imports both consumption and capital goods rose 1% to $8.098 billion and $5.805 billion respectively for November.

On the important metals and energy front the ABS reports data in original terms and said that iron ore fell in both value and quantity. LNG increased quantity by a small amount but suffered a a big fall in price, while coal receipts were on balance also lower.

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