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Primary product exports nudge record $200 billion in 2011

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Media Release

Media release from the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade

Australian produced exports of primary products rose 18.1 per cent or $30.1 billion in 2011, reaching a record $196 billion for the year, according to new figures released by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade today.

The growth underpinned Australia's record exports of goods and services in 2011, which rose by 10.2 per cent, to $313.3 billion.

The growth in primary products exports was seen across the board. Exports of unprocessed food were particularly strong, rising 36.1 per cent to $12.8 billion in 2011. With strong price and volume growth, wheat, barley and other cereal grain exports were up by 49.4 per cent to a record $7.6 billion.

Processed food exports - such as meat and vegetable preparations, dairy and wine - rose 3.9 per cent to $15.3 billion, with exports of meat and meat preparations rising by 6.3 per cent to $7.1 billion.

Mineral exports rose 24.6 per cent to $86.7 billion in 2011. Within this, iron ore exports grew by 29.8 per cent to reach $64.1 billion, reflecting increased demand and higher prices.

Coal, gas and other fuel exports rose 10.3 per cent to $73.5 billion. Coal exports alone were up 8.8 per cent to $46.8 billion and petroleum gases rose by 14.8 per cent to $12 billion.

Driven by higher exports of wool and cotton, exports of textile fibres rose 64.7 per cent to $5.4 billion, leading to an overall rise in 'other primary products' by 37 per cent to $7.8 billion.

The figures were released in Trade in Primary and Manufactured Products 2011, part of a series published each year by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

The publication is available on the DFAT website: Trade in Primary and Manufactured Products 2011, along with accompanying statistics in MS Excel pivot table format. DFAT also offers a customised consultancy service, producing reports tailored to specific requirements.

For further information please contact (02) 6261 3270, fax (02) 6261 3321 or email

Last Updated: 21 June 2012
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