Confidence in Australian exporting rising
DHL have released their 2012 Export Barometer which reveals that exporters are growing in confidence despite the high Australian dollar.
With 57 percent of exporters expecting to increase their export orders in 2012, up from 48 percent last year, clearly Australian exporters are confident that business will pick up over the next year. After surveying 785 regular exporters, DHL’s figures have revealed that 50 percent of exporters expect company profitability to increase in the next 12 months.
According to the survey author, Tim Harcourt, the J.W Neville fellow at the School of Economics at UNSW, the survey was conducted among regular exporters who were continuing to export despite international market pressures and the continual rise of the Australian dollar. Harcourt also commented that for the first time exporters were asked about the introduction of the carbon tax and how that might affect their export business. “While the survey has asked exporters before about their environmental policies, a remarkable 90 percent admitted they had not made any plans for the introduction of the carbon price and I expect the effects will not be felt until next year once the dust settles.”
Australia’s export customers have also changed since the last Barometer was held. Indonesia has shown a 54 percent increase in export orders, while the Middle East has also shown a significant increase in orders, up 52 percent, after the Dubai property slump.
New Zealand also emerged as an important market for Australian exporters in the research, with the country predicted to replace the UK as the third biggest export destination in five years’ time. Senior vice president DHL Express Oceania Gary Edstein, said that New Zealand would continue to grow in importance for Australian exporters. “New Zealand has always been an uncomplicated trading opportunity for Australians, with many using it as a testing ground for their business before launching into larger export markets. What is interesting this year is that more exporters are seeing New Zealand as a source of future growth, perhaps due to an unstable and challenging global market.”
Unsurprisingly, the high Aussie dollar was seen as being the biggest hurdle for exporters, ahead of rising fuel costs and international competition, mainly from China, the USA and India. However this hasn’t seemed to effect exporter confidence, with one reason being that many exporters have also become importers – some 72 percent this year.