Australia records $55.47 billion trade surplus amid trade tensions with China
Published: Feb 04, 2021 10:43 AM

Bottles of Australian wine on the shelf of a supermarket in Hangzhou, East China’s Zhejiang Province on November 27, 2020 Photo: VCG

Australia posted a trade and services surplus of A$72.7 billion ($55.47 billion), an increase of A$5.2 billion on the surplus of A$67.5 billion recorded in 2019 in its balance on goods and services for 2020, data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) showed on Thursday.

The figures were released following a year of trade tensions between Australia and China, its largest trading partner, as the Morrison government chose to tie itself to the Trump administration's anti-China campaign and damaging its relation with China.

The ABS attributed to the increase in trade and services surplus to a larger decrease in imports than that of exports.

China is the largest market for many Australian products and services, from agricultural goods to services including education and tourism. 

However, impacted by a deteriorating China-Australia relationship, China's imports from Australia saw an annual decline of 5.3 percent in US dollar terms, according to Chinese customs data on in mid-January.

Despite a rise in iron ore prices that has shored up Australia’s trade with China, some sectors are already feeling the impact from strained bilateral ties. 

The volume of Australian wine exports to China declined by 29% to 96 million liters for 2020 amid rising trade tensions with China, said industry body Wine Australia on Wednesday. China imposed temporary deposit tariffs of up to 212 percent last November.

Global Times