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Australia’s Trade Surplus Shrinks in December as Exports Decline and Imports Rise Slightly

The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) announced on February 7th that the country’s trade surplus declined more than anticipated in December, due to a drop in exports, particularly mineral fuels and mining products, and a slight increase in imports.

The ABS reported that the trade surplus narrowed to A$12.24 billion in December from A$13.20 billion in November, falling short of the expected A$12.50 billion. Exports fell 1% to $57.84 billion, primarily driven by a 15.4% decrease in metal exports, while metal, coal, and fuel ore exports also contracted, impacted by weaker foreign demand and a dip in local production during the holiday season.

On the other hand, imports rose 1% to $45.60 billion in December, attributed to the growing demand for overseas travel services, according to the ABS.

The ABS’s report highlights the challenges facing the Australian economy, particularly in the export sector, which has been hit by the global slowdown and the impact of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

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