Gold exports drive $2bn Australia trade swing in the space of a month
Australia’s trade surplus for January stood at $1.05bn, a turnaround of more than $1bn after December’s trade deficit of $1.1bn.
According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, a massive surge in gold mining output was largely behind the reversal in fortunes – the $770mn contributed by gold miners is a 54% rise compared to December 2017.
In total, exports jumped by 4% while imports dropped by 2%.
- Dairy growth drives record New Zealand exports in 2017
- Revived Trans-Pacific Partnership offers hope to Australian exporters
- Read the March edition of ANZ Business Chief magazine
Other areas seeing strong performance include transport equipment and LNG plants in Queensland, which respectively saw rises of $208mn and 9% versus the preceding month.
Exporters will also be encouraged by the impending signing of the Trans-Pacific Partnership.
Australian and Kiwi farmers, manufacturers, service providers, small businesses and all exporters are set to be the big winners as they will be able to sell more of their goods and services in a free trade area that spans the Americas and Asia.
Heath Baker, Head of Policy at the Export Council of Australia, said: “Australian exporters have gone through two years of uncertainty about if and when this deal is going to happen.
“We call on the government and opposition to demonstrate Australia’s longstanding bipartisan consensus on free trade, and—once the agreement is signed—ensure it goes through parliamentary processes smoothly.”
Timeline: India takes unicorn leap with six in five days
We chart an historic week in India’s tech industry, where in just five days, between 5-9 April 2021, the country achieved six new unicorns, bringing India’s total to 10 in 2021 to date, an immense unicorn leap from just seven in 2020 and six in 2019.
April 5: Meesho
India’s first social commerce unicorn, Meesho raised US$300m from SoftBank, Facebook and Shunwei Capital, giving the Bangalore-based startup a US$2.1bn valuation, a threefold jump from its previous funding round in 2019. Founded in 2015 by two IIT-Delhi graduates, Meesho connects producers and resellers, helping small businesses sell through social media. It has 45m customers and has enabled 13m entrepreneurs to start their online businesses with no investment.
April 6: CRED
Founded just over two years ago, Bangalore-based credit card repayment app CRED raised US$215m from Falcon Edge Capital and Coatue, nearly trebling its valuation to US$2.2bn from its January US$80m round. Allowing customers to pay off their credit card debt while earning CRED coins which they cash in for rewards, CRED has grown rapidly during COVID-19, doubling its customer base to nearly 6 million in a year.
April 7: API Holdings / Groww
The first epharmacy startup to gain unicorn status, PharmEasy (API Holdings), which has digitised 60,000 brick and mortar pharmacies and 400 doctors across India, raised US$350m in a round led by Prosus Ventures. Founded by four former Flipkart employees as a way of making investing simple, investment platform Groww became India’s second-youngest fintech unicorn, raising US$83m in Series D funding led by Tiger Global, quadrupling its previous round in September.
April 8: ShareChat
New Delhi-grown social media startup ShareChat, founded in 2016 by Mohalla Tech raised US$502m from Lightspeed Ventures, Tiger Global, Twitter and Snap taking its raised total over six rounds to US$766m and pushing its valuation to US$2.1bn. The funding will be used to grow its user base and short video platform Moj, which launched in 2020 following TikTok’s ban in India. The regional language startup claims 280m users.
April 9: Gupshup
AI-led conversational message startup joined the unicorn club after raising US$100m from Tiger Global giving it a ten-fold valuation of US$1.4bn. The smart messaging platform, which has seen accelerated growth during the pandemic, was founded in Bangalore in 2005 by serial entrepreneur Beerud Sheth, whose online freelancing platform Elance is now listed. Gupshup’s API enables 100,000+ businesses to build messaging and conversation experiences across 30+ communication channels.