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Australia's Composition of Trade 2008-09

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Media Release

Media Release

Australia's total value of trade in goods and services increased 14.6 per cent in 2008-09 to $563.7 billion, according to a Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade publication, Composition of Trade Australia 2008-09, released today.

Despite the adverse impact of the global economic crisis on world trade, Australia exports rose 1.8 per cent in volume terms in 2008-09, while imports fell by 2.5 per cent.

  • Australia's top three two-way trading partners in 2008-09 were China ($83.0 billion), Japan ($75.3 billion) and the United States ($53.1 billion).
  • Japan was Australia's largest export market in 2008-09, accounting for 19.3 per cent ($55 billion) of total exports, rising 46.7 per cent.
  • China was Australia's second largest export market ($44.4 billion) increasing 41.3 per cent; and India became Australia's fourth largest export market ($18.8 billion) up from seventh in 2007-08.
  • Exports increased by 21.9 per cent in 2008-09 to $284.7 billion and 1.8 per cent in volume terms.
  • Australia's top three exports were coal ($54.8 billion), iron ore and concentrates ($34.2 billion) and gold ($17.5 billion)
  • Australia's terms of trade continued to increase in 2008-09 by 7.6 per cent.

Composition of Trade Australia 2008-09, (COT) provides a comprehensive analysis of the growth, direction and commodity breakdown of Australia's exports and imports in recent years.

The COT is part of a series published each year by DFAT, providing a valuable account of 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

The analyses and tables from the publications are placed on the DFAT website at :


Hard copy orders can also be placed at this site.

Media Enquiries: DFAT Media Liaison - 02 6261

Last Updated: 5 November 2009
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