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Australia-EU trade statistics

The European Union is our second largest direct investor and trading partner

  • The stock of EU's direct investment in Australia was valued at $165 billion making the EU our second biggest direct investor last year.
  • Australian direct investment in the EU was valued at $105 billion in 2016. Our second biggest destination for foreign direct investment abroad.
  • Total two-way goods and services trade between Australia and the EU was worth $98 billion in 2016.
  • Australia's trade with the EU has grown 1.4 per cent on average over the last decade with goods and services exports valued at $31 billion, up from $29 billion in 2006, while imports have steadily increased from $47 billion in 2006 to $68 billion at the end of the decade.

Frank Bingham, Office of Economic Analysis, DFAT

Australia's direct investment with the EU

Australia's two-way direct investment stock with the EU was valued at $270 billion in 2016, accounting for a fifth of Australian total two-way direct investment.

The stock of Australian direct investment in the EU was valued at $105 billion in 2016, representing a
19 per cent share of Australian direct investment abroad. Australian majority-owned businesses in the EU are an important vehicle for Australian companies to provide goods and services to the EU and the world, with total sales of around $47 billion in 2014 – more than double the value of direct exports from Australia to these economies. There were 1177 Australian majority-owned affiliates in the EU in 2014. Australian direct investment resulted in jobs for 83,025 people in the EU in 2014 and contributed $15 billion to the European economy.

Australian majority-owned affiliates in the EU by major European country

2014

INDICATOR

UNIT

FRANCE

GERMANY

ITALY

NETHER- LANDS

UK

Enterprises

Number

55

91

57

60

483

Employment

000's

4.4

8.2

6.2

np

44.1

Compensation of employees

A$m

379

777

536

139

3117

Industry value added

A$m

405

1704

795

196

9693

Sales / Turnover

A$m

1907

5416

5461

841

24,165

np – not published. Source: Eurostat.

EU majority-owned businesses in Australia

EU majority-owned businesses in Australia are an important vehicle for EU companies to provide goods and services to Australia and the world. The stock of EU direct investment in Australia was valued at $165 billion in 2016 – around 21 per cent of all direct investment into Australia.

The EU had 3033 majority-owned enterprises in Australia in 2014. These affiliates had sales of $233 billion in 2014 compared to Australian imports from the EU valued at $64 billion. EU majority-owned enterprises in Australia employed 294,700 people in 2014.

The EU's Australian affiliates in the mining industry had turnover of $41 billion in the manufacturing industry (mainly in petroleum, chemical, pharmaceutical, rubber and plastic industries) valued at $77 billion and in the services industries (mainly in construction, wholesale and retail trade and the finance and insurance industries) valued at $116 billion. In terms of employment 37,600 people were employed in the mining industry, 74,000 in the manufacturing industry and 183,100 in the services industries.

EU affiliates in Australia were dominated by the United Kingdom with 1114 enterprises in Australia, followed by France (648 enterprises) and Germany (407 enterprises). The UK had sales of $108 billion, Germany $45 billion, and France $33 billion in 2014.

EU28 majority-owned affiliates in Australia by major European country
2014

INDICATOR

UNIT

FRANCE

GERMANY

ITALY

NETHER- LANDS

UK

Enterprises

Number

648

407

192

235

1114

Employment

000's

60.0

52.1

13.7

17.6

109.7

Compensation of employees

A$m

6272

na

na

na

na

Sales / Turnover

A$m

33,431

45,436

5779

20,169

107,885

np – not published. Source: Eurostat.

Australia's exports and imports with the European Union, compared to sales from Australian and EU affiliates located in these economies, 2014

Two bar charts. Contact trade@dfat.gov.au for accessible version.

View larger image.

Source: ABS and Eurostat

Gold exports to the United Kingdom

Gold bars

The UK was the main market for Australia's exports of gold to the EU, and accounted for nearly 99 per cent of Australia's gold exports to the EU in 2016. Gold exports to the UK rose by $6.5 billion to $7 billion in 2016. The UK plays an important role in the global gold market as an intermediary gold trader. Gold exports to the UK, and therefore the EU, can be highly volatile with strong year-to-year movements depending on whether final gold users, such as India, source gold directly from Australia or through intermediaries such as the UK.

Australia's goods trade with the EU

Australia's two-way goods trade with the EU was valued at $69 billion in 2016 and accounted for almost 15 per cent of Australia's total goods trade.

Australia recorded a net goods trade deficit of $29 billion in 2016.

In terms of sectors, Australia was a net importer of agriculture, forestry and fisheries and manufactures products from the EU while it was a net exporter of minerals and fuels and other goods – mainly gold.

Australia's major goods exports to the EU were gold, coal and oil seeds, while the major imports from the EU were passenger motor vehicles, medicines and pharmaceutical products.

Goods trade by sector1

Chart 2: Australia's goods trade to the EU by sector

Two pie charts. Data below.

View larger image.

Exports A$m

Other (mainly gold) $8373

Manufactures $4718

Minerals & fuel $4097

Agriculture, forestry & fisheries $3078

Imports A$m

Manufactures $43,531

Agriculture, forestry & fisheries $4643

Other (mainly gold) $641

Minerals & fuel $179

Based on ABS trade data on DFAT STARS database and ABS catalogue 5368.0.55.004

1 Sector breakdown is based on DFAT's Trade Import Exports Classification (TRIEC).

Table 1: Australia's top five goods exports and imports with the EU
 

2014

2015

2016

 

$M

$M

$M

TOTAL MERCHANDISE EXPORTS (a)

12,350

12,984

20,265

Gold

916

463

7043

Coal

2268

2440

3318

Oil-seeds & oleaginous fruits, soft

744

869

1117

Wine & other alcoholic beverages

591

612

587

Lead

307

508

568

TOTAL MERCHANDISE IMPORTS (a)

45,626

46,390

48,994

Passenger motor vehicles

5252

6340

6757

Medicaments (incl veterinary)

4616

4482

4979

Pharmaceutical products (excl medicaments)

1564

1951

2253

Aircraft, spacecraft & parts (b)

933

1319

1083

Mechanical handling equip & parts

1076

1015

1021

(a) Excludes some confidential items of trade. (b) DFAT estimate.

Based on ABS trade data on DFAT STARS database, ABS catalogue 5368.0.55.004 and ABS unpublished data.

Australia's goods trade with the EU by major EU country

Two pie charts. Data below.

View larger image.

Exports A$m

United Kingdom $10,148

Netherlands $2647

Germany $2415

France $1263

Belgium $955

Other EU $2837

Imports A$m

Germany $13,524

United Kingdom $7126

Italy $5900

France $4511

Ireland $2731

Other EU $15,204

Based on ABS trade data on DFAT STARS database and ABS catalogue 5368.0.55.004.

Australia's services trade with the European Union

  • Australia's two-way services trade with the EU was valued at $29 billion in 2016 and accounted for almost 20 per cent of Australia's total services trade.
  • Australia recorded a net services trade deficit of $8 billion in 2016 with the EU. Australia's major services exports to the EU were personal travel services (excluding education-related), other business services and education-related travel services, while the major imports from the EU were personal travel services (excluding education-related), transport services and other business services.

Services trade by activity

Chart 2: Australia' services trade to the EU by major type

Two pie charts. Data below.

View larger image.

Exports A$m

Travel $6348

Business $3182

Transport $713

Personal, cultural & recreational $139

Other $147

Imports A$m

Travel $7842

Business $6191

Transport $3600

Personal, cultural & recreational $533

Other $396

Based on ABS trade data on DFAT STARS database and ABS catalogue 5368.0.55.004.

Chart 3: Australia's services trade with the EU by major EU country

Two pie charts. Data below.

View larger image.

Exports A$m

United Kingdom $4830

Germany $1444

France $841

Italy $595

Ireland $511

Other EU $2309

Imports A$m

United Kingdom $7001

Germany $2835

France $1861

Italy $1552

Netherlands $1194

Other EU $4118

Based on ABS catalogue 5368.0.55.004.

For more detailed statistical information go to: /about-us/publications/Pages/recent-trade-statistical-articles-and-information-papers.aspx

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Last Updated: 21 December 2017
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