In a 189% increase on June’s $538 million deficit, July’s figure marks not only the fourth monthly trade deficit in a row but the largest since May 2008.
ABS said on a recorded trade basis, July’s prices for metallurgical coal fell 2% from June, while thermal coal rose 7%.
The coal, coke and briquettes component, representing 20% of Australia’s total merchandise exports, reached $3.05 billion for July, 22% lower year-on-year but 3% higher than June.
In similar fashion, the metal ores and minerals component reached $3.63 billion, 4% higher than June but 18% lower year-on-year.
Overall, seasonally adjusted goods and services exports were down 1% in July, while seasonally adjusted imports were up 4%.
Premium hard coking coal prices fell 57% to $US129 a tonne for the current Japanese financial year, which started in April.