Media release from the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade

D11 - Tuesday, 7 June 2005

Primary Products Drive Export Rebound

Exports of primary products rose 16 per cent to $69.9 billion in 2004 marking a strong recovery from the 14 per cent decline recorded in 2003, according to analysis released today by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT).

The new DFAT report, Exports of Primary and Manufactured Products, Australia 2004, provides a comprehensive analysis of Australian-produced merchandise trade over the last 10 years, by level of processing.

Unprocessed food products grew 42 per cent in 2004 to $9.6 billion, driven by higher wheat and barley exports. A 15 per cent rise in unprocessed fuels to $18.3 billion was driven by higher coal exports, while unprocessed minerals rose 16 per cent to $12.4 billion in 2004, largely due to higher iron ore, copper and lead exports.

A 10 per cent rise in processed primary products in 2004 to $24.2 billion was largely driven by processed food exports such as beef and veal, up by 28 per cent to $4.6 billion, and wine, up by 15 per cent to $2.5 billion.

Exports of manufactured goods made up 26 per cent ($28.6 billion) of all Australian-produced merchandise exports in 2004. Within the manufactures category, exports of simply transformed manufactures (STMs), which consist of mainly basic metal manufactures, rose by two per cent to $9.9 billion. Exports of elaborately transformed manufactures (ETMs), which include sophisticated products such as electronic components, computer equipment, motor vehicles and a variety of other machinery and equipment, rose by 1.5 per cent to $18.7 billion.

Exports of Primary and Manufactured Products, Australia 2004 (priced at $43) 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 contact (02) 6261 3114, fax (02) 6261 3321 or email statssection@dfat.gov.au. The analysis and summary tables from publications, and an order form, are available at: Statistical publications.

Media Inquiries: DFAT Media Liaison 02 6261 1555