Australian trade balance for August is due today  

  • Median consensus estimate is for a surplus of AUD 1450mln
  • The July result was a surplus of AUD 1551m

A preview of what to expect today via Westpac:

Australia’s trade account has been in surplus each month so far in 2018

  • In July, the surplus remained elevated, at $1.55bn. While down from $1.9bn in June it still exceeds the Q2 monthly average of $1.1bn

For August, we expect the surplus to ease back further, down by $0.45bn to a forecast $1.1bn

  • Export earnings are expected to decline, down 0.8%, -$0.3bn. Falls are led by coal, fuels and metals (on lower volumes) only partial offset by a rise in iron ore (on prices and volumes).
  • The import bill is expected to edge higher, up 0.5%, +$0.15bn, on a combination of higher volumes and prices.

Economic data for Australia is taking a back seat to US developments (trade issues, rates hikes for example) when assessing the AUD/USD, but strong exports are not doing Australia any harm.   


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