Australian trade surplus shrinks sharply in July

Australian trade surplus shrinks sharply in July
© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Ships waiting to be loaded with iron ore are seen at the Fortescue loading dock located at Port Hedland, in the Pilbara region of Western Australia December 3, 2013. REUTERS/David Gray/File Photo

SYDNEY (Reuters) – Australia’s trade surplus shrank by more than expected in July as exports of iron ore and coal cooled after a very strong run, while more Australians travelled and spent abroad.

Data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics out on Thursday showed the surplus on goods and services narrowed to A$8.7 billion ($5.66 billion), from June’s A$17.1 billion and well under forecasts of $14.5 billion.

Exports fell a steep 9.9%, led by a 15% dive in iron ore and a 17% drop in coal. Imports jumped 5.2% as Australians bought more cars and clothes, while rushing abroad as coronavirus restrictions lapsed.

Source: Reuters