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Over the past ten years movements in both the export and import price indexes have been volatile, largely reflecting variations in the value of the Australian dollar against the major trading currencies. By June quarter 2002, import prices were 23.8% above what they were ten years earlier, while over the same period export prices had increased by 25.3%. However, there were some significant short-term differences in the price behaviour for these two series over this period.
The two international trade price indexes measure the price of goods leaving and entering Australia. The export price index measures changes in the prices of exports of merchandise from Australia while the import price index measures changes in prices of imports of merchandise into Australia.
In general, prices are obtained from major exporters and importers of the selected commodities included in each index. The prices used in the indexes relate to the quarter in which the goods physically leave and enter Australia. They are collected on a free on board (f.o.b.) country of origin basis. Therefore, freight and insurance charges involved in shipping imports to and exports from Australian ports are excluded.
The prices used in both the export and import indexes are expressed in Australian dollars. For this reason changes in the relative value of the Australian dollar against overseas currencies will affect both price indexes, as many of the goods imported and exported by Australia are priced in foreign currencies. An appreciation of the Australian dollar has a downward influence on both indexes, while a depreciation has an upward influence, although the impact does differ between the two indexes.
The indexes are used by both the public and private sectors for both economic analysis and adjusting business contracts. The indexes are also used as inputs to other ABS statistics, such as volume estimates in the national accounts.
International Trade Price Indexes, Australia (6457.0)
Contains indexes measuring changes in the prices of imports of merchandise that are landed in Australia each quarter (the Import Price Index), and exports of merchandise that are shipped from Australia each quarter (the Export Price Index).
Information Paper: Review of the Import Price Index and Export Price Index, Australia (6424.0).