Australia posted a merchandise trade surplus of A$1.055 billion in January, the Australian Bureau of Statistics said on Thursday.
That blew away forecasts for a surplus of A$200 million following the upwardly revised A$1.146 billion deficit in December (originally A$1.358 billion).
Exports gained A$1.394 billion or 4.0 percent on month to $33.924 billion.
Non-rural goods added A$869 million (4 percent) and non-monetary gold gained A$770 million (54 percent).
Rural goods fell A$312 million (8 percent) and net exports of goods under merchanting tumbled A$9 million (17 percent). Services credits added A$77 million (1 percent).
Imports sank A$807 million or 2.0 percent to AA$32.869 billion.
Consumption goods lost A$586 million (7 percent), non-monetary gold dropped A$95 million (19 percent) and capital goods fell A$90 million (1 percent).
Intermediate and other merchandise goods lost A$68 million (1 percent), while services debits picked up A$31 million.