While remaining in surplus, the balance on goods and services has fallen to the lowest point in six months to $555 million, a decrease of $2,614 million on the surplus in March 2017. The decline was largely due to a reduction in exports, with imports relatively unchanged.
The reduction in exports in April was driven in large part by a fall in seasonally adjusted coal, coke and briquettes exports, which were down $2,521 million (45 per cent). In late March 2017, a category four tropical cyclone, Tropical Cyclone Debbie, crossed the North Queensland coast. Strong wind and storm surges caused significant damage to transport infrastructure to the ports resulting in a significant decrease in export quantities of coal in April 2017.