Australia Record Trade Deficit Looms as Commodities Slump: Chart

  • Deficit for January to November widens to A$28.6 billion
  • RBA's Australian commodity price index fell 17% last year

Australia might be shipping ever-larger amounts of iron ore, but slumping prices for the country’s key commodities mean it is on track for a record trade deficit.

The January-to-November shortfall has already surpassed the previous annual record set in 2007 of A$26.4 billion, government data released Thursday show.

The Reserve Bank of Australia’s commodity price index fell 17 percent in Australian-dollar terms in 2015 while iron ore prices dropped more than 30 percent. Capital Economics estimates net exports added just 0.5 percentage point to growth in the fourth quarter, well down from 1.5 percentage points in the third quarter.

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