• Media release
04 August 2020

Australia recorded its largest financial year trade surplus in 2019-20, off the back of booming goods exports, according to new data released today from the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

The data shows that despite severe global economic shocks from COVID-19, Australia posted a record financial year trade surplus of $77.4 billion in 2019-20 with Australian goods exports growing by $9.29 billion or 2.5 per cent. Australia also recorded its 30th consecutive monthly trade surplus in June 2020, worth $8.2 billion, the second highest monthly trade surplus.

Federal Trade Minister Simon Birmingham said the COVID-19 pandemic was testing all Australian producers and businesses, but today’s data highlighted the incredible strength and resilience of our export sector.

“Despite the ongoing domestic and international challenges, Australian exporters across a range of sectors like resources, agriculture and advanced manufacturing continue to withstand global economic shocks and remain highly sought after in our key markets,” Minister Birmingham said.

“It is a credit to our hard-working exporters that even in these incredibly challenging economic times, their high-quality, safe and reliable product remains in demand around the world.

“Notwithstanding factors such as rising export costs and disruptions to supply-chains, our exporters continue to show incredible resilience and ability to navigate through these significant global economic headwinds.

“The continuing strength of our exporting sectors reinforces the importance for Australia of keeping trading channels open and accessible, expanding market access through even more trade agreements and continuing to support a global, rules based trading system.

“We also recognise the current COVID-19 crisis continues to place immense pressure on parts of our services sector, including tourism and education businesses, many of whom felt the earliest and deepest aspects of the economic downturn.

“That is why our Government has taken significant steps to support businesses and jobs across the tourism sector through cash payments of up to $100,000 and the extension of the JobKeeper payment until the end of March next year.

“We’ve also taken action to keep supply chains open for our agricultural and fisheries exporters through initiatives such as our $350 million International Freight Assistance Mechanism, which has so far supported over $1 billion in exports and helped to protect regional jobs.

“Our Government’s strong track record of delivering high-quality free trade agreements with our key-trading partners has helped cushion the blow for our exporters. That is why we continue to pursue agreements with our key trading partners including with European Union and United Kingdom, to open up new markets for Australian farmers and businesses.”