Small and medium exporters are confident about future trade growth and expect their exports to increase, according to a new industry report.
The Exporter Sentiment Index, conducted by Australia’s export credit agency, indicates strong confidence in exports, with 56 per cent of respondents expecting their overseas sales to increase in the next 12 months.
The report, released today by Minister for Trade and Investment, Steven Ciobo, surveyed more than 1,200 Australian exporters.
“The research reflects Australia’s recent record trade results, with the value of Australia’s exports reaching $32.6 billion in December, the highest level ever in our history,” Mr Ciobo said.
The Index reveals half of the respondents believe they are in a better financial position than 12 months ago.
And more than half (57 per cent) expect they will be in a better financial situation over the next year. Two in five respondents are also expecting to increase their staff in the next 12 months, creating more Australian jobs.
The main reasons SME exporters believe sales revenue will increase are expectations of increasing demand in existing markets and offering new products and services.
Increase in profitability
The outlook for profitability of international business is also positive, with 51% of Australian SME exporters confident profitability will increase in the next 12 months.
Mr Ciobo says the optimism can be largely attributed to the Government’s trade agenda, which is delivering lower tariffs and opening up new markets.
However, the report found access to finance still remains a key concern for small and medium exporters.
One in five SME exporters expects access to become more difficult, while 29% expect it to become easier.
Just over a third (36%) expect it to remain the same.
The main impediments to accessing finance are expectations of weakening cash flow (15%) and increases to the cost of credit (14%).
Mr Ciobo says Efic can play an important role in providing export businesses with the finance they need when traditional finance solutions are not available to them.
The Efic Exporter Sentiment Index can be found at: https://www.efic.gov.au/education-and-tools/research/exporter-sentiment-index/