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Export prices drop, import prices up

Business

Australian export prices have fallen for the first time since 2017, mainly due to price plunges in coal, coke and metalliferous ores.

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The 5.2 per cent drop for the December quarter is the first time the quarterly index has been negative since September 2017.

The main contributors to the decline were coal, coke and briquettes (down 14.7 per cent) and metalliferous ores and metal scrap (down 9.1 per cent).

These falls were due to increased global supply and subdued demand from China.

The result was uncharacteristic of a year in which export prices rose 4.1 per cent, according to Australian Bureau of Statistics figures.

Import prices rose 0.7 per cent for the quarter, and 1.4 per cent for the year.

Petrol (3.8 per cent) and machinery (1.6 per cent) were key drivers.

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