5308.0 - Foreign Currency Exposure, Australia, March Quarter 2009  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 30/10/2009   
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1 This publication presents results in respect of 31 March 2009, from an ABS survey of Australian resident enterprises with exposure to foreign currency. This is the third occasion this survey has been conducted; the first was conducted in respect of 30 June 2001 as a supplementary survey to the Survey of International Investment, with results published in the December quarter 2001 issue of Balance of Payments and International Investment Position (cat. no. 5302.0). The second was conducted in respect of 31 March 2005 with results published in Foreign Currency Exposure, Australia, Mar 2005 (cat. no. 5308.0).


2 The scope of the survey was all Australian resident enterprises with significant foreign currency exposure through foreign currency denominated balance sheet positions and/or expected future foreign currency receipts and payments from trade of goods and services. This included government and private institutions, primarily financial corporations, importers and exporters. Expected future foreign currency receipts and payments from trade are included in the results for 31 March 2005 and 31 March 2009 but not for 30 June 2001. In addition, the results for 31 March 2009 exclude expected future foreign currency receipts and payments from trade in the 'greater than 5 years' time horizon. These data would distort the analysis because of the greater uncertainty surrounding these estimates and bias introduced by smaller businesses having greater difficulty reporting this information.


3 The survey population was designed to include those enterprises that cover in excess of approximately 90 per cent of foreign currency exposure for assets and liabilities, and was supplemented with a sample of importers and exporters with significant foreign currency denominated trade in goods and/or services.


4 The coverage of importers and exporters for this survey was increased compared to the 2005 survey, with the total number of enterprises in the survey increasing from 538 in the 2005 survey to 823 in the 2009 survey. This results in estimates of expected future currency payments and receipts for 2009 not being directly comparable with estimates for 2001 and 2005.


5 The institutional sectors are based on the Standard Economic Sector Classifications of Australia 2008 (SESCA) (cat. no. 1218.0) and are the same as the sectors used in national income and expenditure accounts.

6 The basic unit that is classified by sector is the institutional unit, which is defined as an economic entity that is capable, in its own right, of incurring liabilities and engaging in economic activities and transactions with other entities.


7 The unit for which statistics were reported in the survey was the Australian enterprise unit. This consists of all the entities within an Australian enterprise group that are in the same SESCA subsector.


8 Data contained in this publication relate to foreign currency denominated financial positions (balance sheet) and expected future foreign currency receipts and payments from trade collected from selected enterprises as at 31 March 2009. Summary data from the previous surveys are also included.


9 Care should be exercised in the use and interpretation of data in this publication. While every effort is made to ensure the accuracy and reliability of data it is still possible that the variability within data can be significant.

10 Responses were received from 92% of the surveyed enterprises.

11 Some estimation has been undertaken to ensure comparability of expected future receipts (from export of goods and services) with expected future payments (for import of goods and services). The data was benchmarked to foreign currency receipts and payments for the year to September 2008, and expected future payments increased by a factor that reflected the extent to which the surveyed units accounted for a smaller proportion of benchmarked payments than benchmarked receipts.


12 Where figures have been rounded, a discrepancy may occur between the sum of the component items and the total. Published percentages are calculated prior to rounding of figures and therefore a discrepancy may occur between the published percentages and percentages which could be calculated using the published estimates.


13 Contrary to the balance of payments conventions, this publication uses the natural sign convention in the presentation of data, analysis and associated commentary.


14 Data are expressed in Australian dollars. Amounts denominated in a foreign currency are converted to Australian currency at the market exchange rate at the reference date.


15 In these statistics all asset and liability positions are valued at market prices.

16 The principal value is reported for all financial derivative currency contracts. The principal of a derivative contract is the underlying notional amount upon which the transaction is based.


17 A wide range of analyses are possible with the data collected. The following additional tables are available from the downloads tab of this publication on the ABS web site (www.abs.gov.au):

  • Table 16 - Foreign currency exposure of assets and liabilities by currency by resident versus non-resident counterparties at 31 March 2009
  • Table 17 - Derivative contracts by currency by resident versus non-resident counterparties at 31 March 2009
  • Tables 18 to 23 - Determinants of hedging strategy, by financial instrument.


18 ABS publications draw extensively on information provided freely by individuals, businesses, governments and other organisations. Their continued cooperation is much appreciated; without it, the wide range of statistics published by the ABS would not be available. Information received by the ABS is treated in strict confidence as required by the Census and Statistics Act 1905.