Record $36b exports lift goods trade surplus

Original article by Ronald Mizen
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 6 : 26-May-21

The ongoing trade tensions with China have not significantly affected Australia’s export trade. New figures show that the nation’s international goods trade surplus topped $10bn in April, after the total value of exports rose by $13m month-on-month to a record $36bn. Iron ore exports rose by one per cent overall, but the value of shipments to China increased by $234m to a record high of $10.5bn. There was also strong growth in export volumes for commodities such as coal and petroleum. Meanwhile, the total value of imports fell by seven per cent to $25.8bn.

CORPORATES

Retailers set to lift prices as shipping costs soar

Original article by Sue Mitchell
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 11 & 14 : 7-Apr-21

Australian retailers note that shipping costs have tripled in the last 12-15 months, and they will inevitably have to pass some of these costs on to consumers. The cost of shipping goods from China has surged since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, while The Reject Shop’s CEO Andre Reich says spot shipping rates have blown out to about $2,500; this compares with $US450 to $US500 for contracted rates. Some retailers have indicated that they intend to absorb the increased freight costs.

CORPORATES
THE REJECT SHOP LIMITED – ASX TRS

Now for start of on-shoring era: Liveris

Original article by Jacob Greber
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 13 : 9-Apr-20

The coronavirus pandemic has prompted renewed scrutiny of Australia’s dependence on imports for essential goods such as medical equipment. Manufacturing now accounts for six per cent of the domestic economy, compared with about 40 per cent in the 1970s. Business leader Andrew Liveris says Australia needs to increase local manufacturing, but he stresses that the focus should be on high-end sectors such as health and technology.

CORPORATES
DOW CHEMICAL COMPANY

Ore exports drive trade surplus

Original article by Patrick Commins
The Australian – Page: 1 & 2 : 10-Jan-20

Official data shows that Australia recorded a trade surplus of $5.8bn for November, after the surplus for the previous month was downwardly revised to $4.1bn. The data also shows that resource exports increased by 0.9 per cent in November and by three per cent year-on-year; the monthly figure was bolstered by a 2.1 per cent rise in iron ore exports and one per cent growth in coal shipments. The total value of goods and services exports increased by two per cent to $40.9bn, while the value of imports was down three per cent at $35.1bn.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN BUREAU OF STATISTICS, JP MORGAN AUSTRALIA LIMITED, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE TREASURY

Australian fuel supplies in the crosshairs

Original article by Patrick Commins
The Australian – Page: 18 : 9-Jan-20

Elizabeth Buchanan from the Department of Defence’s Australian War College says the oil price would be the "first casualty" if the US were to retaliate after Iran’s missile strikes on its bases in Iraq. She says Iran would be likely to use oil as a weapon against the US and its allies, warning that the latter are likely to be hardest hit as the US is now largely oil self-sufficient. Buchanan warns that Australia is particularly vulnerable given that most of its liquid fuel is imported and the nation has no emergency fuel stocks.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF DEFENCE. AUSTRALIAN WAR COLLEGE, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE PRIME MINISTER AND CABINET, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE ENVIRONMENT AND ENERGY, INTERNATIONAL ENERGY AGENCY

Trade surplus declines on lower iron ore price

Original article by Matthew Cranston
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 10 : 4-Oct-19

Official figures show that Australia recorded a trade surplus of $5.9bn in August, compared with a record $8bn in June. The total value of exports of goods and services fell by $1.4bn in August, and imports fell by $137m. A downturn in the price of iron and coal was the major contributor to the lower trade surplus. The value of iron ore exports declined by 12 per cent during the month, with the price of the steel input falling from a peak of $US120 per tonne to $US91. However, iron ore export volumes increased by 15 per cent.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN BUREAU OF STATISTICS, COMMONWEALTH SECURITIES LIMITED, NATIONAL AUSTRALIA BANK LIMITED – ASX NAB

Second NSW gas terminal critical

Original article by Perry Williams
The Australian Financial Review – Page: Online : 14-Aug-19

The New South Wales government is to give ‘critical status’ to a second proposed LNG import terminal for that state on 14 August. The $590 million gas plant on Newcastle’s Kooragang Island is being developed by South Korean company EPIK, and was proposed in December 2018. The first NSW LNG import terminal to be awarded ‘critical status’ is the Andrew Forrest-backed project at Port Kembla, which is due to become operational in late 2020. The EPIK terminal could be operational by 2022-23, and has the potential to supply up to 80 per cent of NSW’s gas needs.

CORPORATES
EPIK, AGL ENERGY LIMITED – ASX AGL

Super, massive trade surplus holds up economy

Original article by John Kehoe
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 1 & 6 : 7-Aug-19

Westpac’s chief economist Bill Evans says Australia could be set to post its first current account surplus since 1975, following the release of the latest balance of trade data. The nation’s trade surplus rose to a record $8.04bn in June and totalled $19.7bn for the June quarter, which is $5.2bn higher than the March quarter. The result was driven by strong growth in iron ore export volumes and the price of the steel input during the period. Australia’s overall export volumes increased by 1.4 per cent in June, while there was a 3.6 per cent decline in imports.

CORPORATES
WESTPAC BANKING CORPORATION – ASX WBC, AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND BANKING GROUP LIMITED – ASX ANZ, JP MORGAN AUSTRALIA LIMITED, CAPITAL ECONOMICS LIMITED

LNG import plans pushed back to 2020

Original article by Angela Macdonald-Smith
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 11 & 14 : 5-Feb-19

AGL Energy’s proposed import terminal at Crib Point in Victoria and Australian Industrial Energy’s planned LNG import terminal at Port Kembla in New South Wales are among five LNG import terminals flagged for Australia. However, Saul Kavonic of Credit Suisse says none of the five may be approved by the end of 2019. Labor’s energy spokesman Mark Butler says it has not ruled out LNG import terminals if it wins the upcoming election, while Australian Workers’ Union national secretary Daniel Walton has spoken out against importing LNG.

CORPORATES
AGL ENERGY LIMITED – ASX AGL, AUSTRALIAN INDUSTRIAL ENERGY PTY LTD, AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY, AUSTRALIAN WORKERS’ UNION-FEDERATION OF INDUSTRIAL, MANUFACTURING AND ENGINEERING EMPLOYEES, CREDIT SUISSE (AUSTRALIA) LIMITED

Price doubts over Forrest LNG plan

Original article by Angela Macdonald-Smith
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 14 : 27-Feb-18

BlueScope CEO Mark Vasella is supportive of plans by a venture backed by Andrew Forrest to import LNG into the New South Wales market. Port Kembla is one of three sites envisaged for the project, and Vasella says this would be the best choice, as it is close to customers and infrastructure. Energy Users Association of Australia head Andrew Richards has also welcomed news of the project, while a spokesperson for AGL, which is considering a similar import project in Victoria, said it backs the idea of new supply.

CORPORATES
BLUESCOPE STEEL LIMITED – ASX BSL, AGL ENERGY LIMITED – ASX AGL, ENERGY USERS ASSOCIATION OF AUSTRALIA, JERA, WOOD MACKENZIE, WOODSIDE PETROLEUM LIMITED – ASX WPL, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE ENVIRONMENT AND ENERGY, WESFARMERS LIMITED – ASX WES, GLENCORE AUSTRALIA PTY LTD