(Bloomberg) -- Australia’s trade surplus widened in October on exports driven by metal ores and minerals and a decline in imports.

The windfall came in at A$7.1 billion ($4.7 billion) compared with forecasts for a A$7.5 billion, Australian Bureau of Statistics data showed on Thursday. Exports in October edged up 0.4%, while imports declined 1.9%.

Australia has been running trade surpluses for almost six years, underpinned by iron ore and fossil fuel sales to the burgeoning economies of the Asia-Pacific region. Elevated commodity prices last fiscal year and the accompanying tax revenue helped propel the nation’s budget back into the black for the first time since 2008.

Demand for Australian goods has been driven by top trading partner China with its strong appetite for iron ore and coal. Trade between the two nations in some other commodities resumed recently after ties thawed between Beijing and Canberra following a political dispute. 

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