MEDIA RELEASE

DEPARTMENT OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS AND TRADE
AUSTRALIA

D11

8 July 1999

Composition of Trade Australia 1998 - Release of Publication

The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade today released the 1998 edition of the publication Composition of Trade, Australia. This authoritative publication provides a comprehensive analysis of the growth, direction and commodity breakdown of Australia's merchandise trade in recent years. Individual reports show the detailed composition of trade with all major partners and regions over the last five years.

Highlights of trade in 1998 include a 10 per cent increase in the value of Australia's merchandise trade to $185.8 billion, with exports increasing by 5 per cent to $89.0 billion and imports increasing by 16 per cent to $96.8 billion. Australia recorded a merchandise trade deficit of $7.9 billion in 1998.

Also included in the 1998 issue is a feature article on the impact of the economic situation in East Asia on Australia's trade in gold. Changes in gold trading had a significant influence on Australia's merchandise trade balances with the APEC and ASEAN regions in 1998, where trade deficits were recorded.

Copies of this publication can be purchased, for $40, by contacting the Market Information and Analysis Unit on:

phone (02) 6261 3114 or
fax (02) 6261 3321

Orders can also be placed via the Departmental website at http://www.dfat.gov.au/publications/statistics.html

The analysis and summary tables from Composition of Trade, along with the latest available information on trade with East Asia are also available from the Departmental website at http://www.dfat.gov.au

Media Inquiries: Tony Melville (02) 6261 1555