This week, the Australian Trade Commission (Austrade) released research into the activity of Australia’s exporters with a key finding being that, despite the global financial crisis, Australia’s export industry is healthy and continues to grow.
Overall, Austrade discovered that, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, the total number of businesses comprising the exporter community was 45,581 for 2008-09. This is marginally down on the 2007-08 figure of 45,623, a drop that is believed to be due to a 4.3 percent decline in service exporters.
Analysis of the top 20 market destinations showed little change in the rankings, as has been the case for some time, with only slight movement among individual ranking countries.
New Zealand remains at the top of the ladder regardless of a $980 million fall in trade value on 2007-08. Proximity, ease and the Closer Economic Relationship are all seen as factors contributing to New Zealand being being a top choice for Australian exporters, especially for those venturing into the exporting industry for the first time.
With a tally of 9,084 Australian exporters (a drop of 102 on 2007-08), the United States came second. However, trade value rose by $998m. The decrease in the number of exporters to the US seems to follow suit with other sub-prime affected countries such as the UK, Japan and South Korea.
Singapore ranked in third place with growth in both numbers of exporters and trade value on the previous year (6,667 and $296m respectively).
Following in the top 10 (in descending order) were China, Papua New Guinea, Malaysia, Japan and Fiji.
The figures for China (in fourth place with 4,816 Australian exporters and a trade value of $354m) appear to support an Austrade/Sensis survey that many SMEs are seeking to follow larger Australian blue chip companies such as Rio Tinto, ANZ and Woodside into this increasingly desirable market.
While the table appears to have remained fairly stable, a longer term view shows that when compared to 1989-90 data, countries such as China and the UAE have been consistently rising up the rankings.
The following is a ranking of export destinations:
Source: ABS Cat 5368.0.55.006 — table 11, includes multiple destinations.
For further information please visit Austrade.