China's ore demand lifts export index 4.4%

  • 31-Jan-2019
  • China's ore demand lifts export index 4.4%

Ongoing Chinese demand for iron ore pushed the value of Australian exports up 4.4 per cent in the December quarter, but a weaker dollar has also lifted import costs.

The price index of Australian metal ore and metal scrap exports rose 9.0 per cent in the three months since September, and 17.8 per cent for the year to date, according to data released on Thursday by the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

The value of gas exports also rose 8.6 per cent in the December quarter, and 54.6 per cent for the year to date, with coal exports up 3.7 per cent for the quarter and up 16 per cent over the past 12 months.

The nation's total export price index for the year through to December climbed 15.7 per cent.

However, the import price index for the December quarter also edged 0.5 per cent higher, driven mainly by a depreciating Australian dollar, with telecommunications, sound system, and metal manufacturing most affected.

The nation's import index had already risen 1.9 per cent in the September quarter, and is now up 7.8 per cent for the 12 months through to December, driven mainly by petrol imports.

The Aussie dollar dipped slightly after the release of the data, and was trading at 72.54 at 1205 AEDT.

This month the ABS reported Australia's trade surplus dropped 4.4 per cent to $1.93 billion in November, with a near billion-dollar increase in combined gold, fuel and metal ore exports offset by higher import costs, and an expected drop in coal exports.

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