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Australian exports surge to new record

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Australian exports reached a new record of $313 billion in 2011, the first time exports have risen over $300 billion in any 12 month period. The annual record export performance resulted in a trade surplus of $18.3 billion, according to a report released by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. Mineral exports such as iron and copper ore were amongst the top exports, increasing by 24.6 percent to $86.7 billion in 2011. Resources exports have tripled over the past decade, rising from $57.1 billion in 2001 to $190.5 billion in 2011. An article in the report shows resources exports account for over 60 percent of Australia’s total exports, up from 36.2 percent in 2001. The resources boom has also increased Australia’s Real Gross Domestic Income as a result of the rapid growth in trade over the past decade, which can be partly attributed to climbing resource export prices. Iron ore and coal have been the driving force behind Australia’s growth in resources exports over the past 10 years; the two commodities accounted for 58.2 percent of total resource exports in 2011 with a combined value of $110.9 billion. Highlights from the report show:
  • Australia’s top three exports were iron ore and concentrates ($64.1 billion, up 29.8 percent), coal ($46.8 billion, up 8.8 percent) and gold ($16.0 billion, up 6.4 percent);
  • The top three imports were personal travel services (excluding education) ($22.2 billion, up 8.9 percent), crude petroleum ($20.8 billion, up 28.4 percent) and refined petroleum ($14.3 billion, up 43.5 percent);
  • Australia’s trade volumes increased 5.1 percent in 2011;
  • Australia’s largest two-way trade partner was China ($121.1 billion), followed by Japan ($72.5 billion) and the United States ($54.2 billion).
You can view the DFAT report  here.

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