Through calendar year 2015 the cumulative trade deficit racked up was $33 billion.
Meanwhile the gold price now looks to be in a much healthier position at above US$1,140/oz.
On the plus side services exports continue to push to new highs, having increased by 8.7 per cent in trend terms in 2015.
The iron ore price malaise has of course been felt most keenly in Western Australia, where total merchandise export values declined by 17 per cent in 2015.
Tourism & education booming
Policy makers will certainly be hoping that the recently experienced rebound in iron ore, oil, gold and copper prices continues for a while yet.