Media release from the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade

D10 - Friday, 13 May 2005

Report Highlights Trade Rebound

Australia's total trade in goods and services recovered strongly to rise eight per cent to $330.6 billion in 2004, according to a new Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade report released today.

Composition of Trade, Australia 2004 shows the value of exports rose eight per cent in 2004 to $152.5 billion, resulting from both higher volumes exported and improved prices received for exports. Imports, influenced by the strong Australian dollar and a buoyant Australian economy, also rose eight per cent in 2004 to reach $178.2 billion.

A number of key exports recorded strong growth throughout 2004. Coal exports rose 23 per cent to $13.4 billion, iron ore exports rose 19 per cent to $6.1 billion, beef exports rose 28 per cent to $4.6 billion and wheat exports - recovering from the drought-affected crop of the previous year - rose 74 per cent to $4.2 billion. In services, large rises were recorded in all categories of travel exports (business, education and other personal), while transportation service exports rose seven per cent in 2004.

Japan remained Australia's largest individual merchandise export market, accounting for 19 per cent ($22.2 billion) of total exports, followed by China ($10.9 billion) and the United States ($9.5 billion).

Composition of Trade, Australia 2004 provides a comprehensive analysis of the growth, direction and commodity breakdown of Australia's merchandise exports and imports in recent years, and details of services trade over a five year period.

The report (priced at $55) is part of a series published each year by DFAT, providing comprehensive information on Australia's international trade in goods and services. DFAT 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 DFAT's website. Orders for publications can also be placed at this site.

Media Inquiries: DFAT Media Liaison 02 6261 1555