Media release from the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade

D1 / 12 January 2004

Ten Years of Strong Export Growth Despite a Challenging 2002-03

Exports of Australian produced manufactured products to New Zealand and China rose in 2002-03 despite a challenging year which saw the value of Australia's overall merchandise exports fall by six per cent.

The 2002-03 figures are contained in Exports of Primary and Manufactured Products, Australia, 2002-03, released by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade today, which provides a comprehensive analysis of merchandise exports over 10 years.

In the 10 years to 2002-03, Australian produced merchandise exports have grown by an average seven per cent per annum. However subdued economic growth in many of our major trading partners, the drought, and the appreciation of the Australian dollar against the US dollar saw the value of Australia's merchandise exports in 2002-03 fall by six per cent to $106.8 billion.

Exports of Australia's manufactured products have grown by an average eight per cent in the 10 years to 2002-03, but fell by seven per cent to $30 billion in 2002-03. Despite this fall, Australia's exports of manufactures rose in two of our top five markets with New Zealand up eight per cent to $3.9 billion and China up 19 per cent to $1.6 billion.

In particular, exports of Elaborately Transformed Manufactures (ETMs) to New Zealand grew by seven per cent to $3.4 billion in 2002-03, with exports of passenger motor vehicles growing by 32 per cent to $510 million. Exports of ETMs to China grew by 17 per cent to $892 million, with exports of nickel alloys more than doubling to $58 million and electrical machinery growing by 94 per cent to $84 million.

In 2002-03, exports of primary products fell by eight per cent to $66 billion, a fall largely attributable to lower exports of unprocessed and processed food products (due to the drought) and unprocessed fuels (mainly coal and crude petroleum).

Exports of Primary and Manufactured Products (priced at $38.50) is part of a series published each year by the Department, providing comprehensive information on Australia's international trade in goods and services. The Department also offers a customised consultancy service, producing reports tailored to specific requirements. For further information please contact (02) 6261 3114, or fax (02) 6261 3321 or email statssection@dfat.gov.au.

The analysis and summary tables from publications are placed on the Department's website at http://www.dfat.gov.au/publications/statistics.html. Orders for publications can also be placed at this site.

Media enquiries: Nicole Guihot, DFAT Media Liaison on 02 6261 1555