Australian exports hit record levels in March -- here's why

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Australia recorded another monster trade surplus in March, topping $1 billion for the third month in a row.

A major part of that story was a surge in exports which jumped to the highest level on record, an outcome that looks set to add handsomely to Australian economic growth when the March quarter report is released in one months time.

As seen in the chart below from Macquarie Bank, surging commodity exports largely explain why Australia has been logging large surpluses regularly over the past couple of years, driven by higher prices and strong demand from the world’s largest consumer of commodities, and Australia’s largest trade partner, China.

Source: Macquarie Bank

This next chart, also from Macquarie, breaks down Australia’s commodity exports by type.

Iron ore and coal are the largest by quite some distance, making them the largest individual exports items from Australia. LNG is also beginning to ramp up as facilities move from the construction to production phase.

Already at a record high in dollar term, it’s the latter that’s expected to help boost Australian real GDP in the years ahead a more production comes online.

Source: Macquarie Bank

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