Australia's Trade Deficit Widens Five Times More Than Expected on Declining Coal Shipments
Australia's May Trade Balance plummeted to the lowest level since July 2008, performing five times worse than that which was expected. Indeed the May Trade Deficit widened to A$556 million from a negatively revised -A$282 million in April. Exports plummeted 5.17% on an overall basis, better than April's decline of -10.7%. Non-agricultural shipments abroad suffered the worst, tanking -7.3%. This news comes just days after China's state media reported that the Asian country plans to halt it's massive stockpiling of commodities. China's announcement may have played a significant role in Australia's recent trade deterioration, given that the country is Australia's greatest purchaser of coal and iron ore. Coal exports abroad, with no country specified due to data limitations, dropped 12.4%. Coal's lack of performance in May is dwarfed when comparing it to that of April, a month which saw such shipments abroad plummet 26.8%.