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5368.0.55.006 - Characteristics of Australian Exporters, 2008-09  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 09/04/2010   
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There were 45,581 Australian exporters in 2008-09, a decrease of 42 exporters from 2007-08. Of these Australian exporters, 43,259 were exporters of merchandise goods and 3,422 were exporters of services. Of those businesses engaged in exporting services, an estimated 1,100 (32%) were also exporters of merchandise goods.

The value of total goods and services exports grew by 23% from 2007-08 to 2008-09. Goods exports increased by 28%, and services by 5%. Growth from 2006-07 to 2007-08 for total goods and services exports was 8%.

In 2008-09 there were 256 goods exporters with aggregate goods exports worth $100m or more. This was an increase of 22 from 2007-08 compared to an increase of 3 from 2006-07 to 2007-08. Although these 256 goods exporters represented less than 1% of the total goods exporter population, they contributed 83% of value of goods exports in 2008-09.

There were 28,884 (67%) goods exporters exporting less than $100,000 that contributed less than 1% of the value of total goods exports in 2008-09. Businesses with aggregate goods exports of '$10,000 and less than $100,000' represented 38% of goods exporters, and businesses exporting goods valued at 'less than $10,000' represented 28% of goods exporters.

There were 3,422 services exporters in 2008-09, a decrease of 155 (-4%) from 2007-08. The decrease in the number of exporters was restricted to businesses with services exports of 'less than $1m', where the number of services exporters decreased by 198 (8%) to 2,395.

The value of services exported in 2008-09 increased by $2,380m (5%), to $52,948m when compared to 2007-08. The increase in the value of services exporters was highest for the Other services category, which increased by $2,777m (9%) from 2007-08 to $32,225m. This category relates to service types where the number of exporters cannot be estimated, including travel, insurance and government services. During the same period, the value of services exports in the category '$100m or more' decreased by $1,107m (-9%) to $10,723m.


(Table 2)

During 2008-09, 20,191 (47%) of goods exporters lodged only 1 or 2 export transactions. The total value of their goods exports was $1b (less than 1% of total goods exports). 11,333 of these exporters were businesses with total exports worth less than $10,000. There were 4,170 (10%) goods exporters lodging more than 50 transactions, and their total value of good exports was $198b, 86% of total goods exports.


(Tables 3 and 4)

Industries with the most significant contribution by exporting businesses to the total value of goods exports in 2008-09 were Mining (48%), Manufacturing (25%) and Wholesale trade (12%). These three industries accounted for $195b (85%) of the value of goods exports in 2008-09 compared to $151b (84%) in 2007-08.

The industries with the highest number of goods exporters in 2008-09 were Wholesale trade (12,155 or 28%) and Manufacturing (9,656 or 22%).

The Manufacturing industry had the largest decrease in the number of exporters (-279) followed by Wholesale trade (-78). The most significant increase in the value of goods exported over the 2008-09 period was in Mining, which rose by 48% to $112b, up from $75b in 2007-08.

The average value of exports per business in 2008-09 was $5m, compared to $4m in 2007-08. In 2008-09, the Mining industry had the highest average value of exports per exporter ($205m), followed by the Manufacturing industry ($6m per exporter) and the Agriculture, forestry and fishing industry ($4m per exporter). The lowest average value of total exports per exporter occurred in the Construction industry with less than $1m per business.

Comparing 2007-08 to 2008-09, the highest growth industry based on average value of exports per business was the Mining industry, with average exports increasing by $75m. The Agriculture, forestry and fishing industry increased average exports per exporter by $2m.

Mining had the highest correlation (83%) between the industry that produced the commodity and the industry which exported the final product.


(Table 5)

There were 5,932 large businesses exporting goods in 2008-09, representing 14% of all businesses exporting goods. These businesses exported goods worth $219b (representing 95% of all exports). (See paragraphs 25-27 of the Explanatory notes for a definition of business size.) The industry with the highest percentage of large businesses was Mining (44%). The 237 large mining businesses represented less than 1% of all goods exporting businesses but were responsible for 48% of the total value of goods exports. The industries with the largest number of large businesses exporting were Manufacturing (1,807 goods exporters with $54b goods exports) and Wholesale trade (1,330 goods exporters with $22b goods exports).

Medium-sized businesses represented 48% of all goods exporters in 2008-09. These businesses exported 4% of the total value of exports. The Wholesale trade and Manufacturing industries had the highest proportion of medium sized businesses.

Small businesses made up 38% of goods exporters by number and contributed less than 1 percent of the total value of goods exports. The industry with the highest number of small goods exporters in 2008-09 was Wholesale trade with 4,144. Small businesses in the Wholesale trade and Manufacturing industries had the largest value of goods exports.

The Australian Business Number (ABN) is used to obtain selected information on exporting businesses from the Australian Business Register. In 2008-09 9% of goods exporting businesses did not have an ABN. These businesses were allocated a business size base on the value of their exports. The business size of exporters with an ABN was based on several factors (see paragraphs 25 to 27 of the Explanatory Notes). 99% of goods exporting businesses without an ABN were classified as small businesses but caution should be exercised in interpreting these data. For businesses with an ABN, the highest proportion of small businesses were in the Retail trade (39%) and Agriculture, forestry and fishing (37%) industries.


(Tables 6, 7 and 8)

38% of Australia's total value of goods exports in 2008-09 came from Western Australia, followed by Queensland (24%), New South Wales (17%), and Victoria (9%).

Western Australia ($54b) and Queensland ($37b) have combined mining exports of $92b, representing 82% of total exports by exporters in the Mining industry in 2008-09. Western Australia ($21b) and New South Wales ($12b) have combined manufacturing exports of $33b, contributing 58% of total exports by exporters in the Manufacturing industry.


(Table 9)

Of the small businesses exporting goods with an ABN, 37% had their main State of business operations in New South Wales, 27% in Victoria, 18% in Queensland, 9% in Western Australia, 6% in South Australia and less than 1% in Tasmania.

The total count of small businesses exporting goods fell for all States from 2007-08 to 2008-09. New South Wales had the largest decrease in the number of small exporters, falling by 253, followed by Victoria (168) and Queensland (160).


(Table 10)

The number of businesses exporting Construction services increased by 397 (278%) due to the commencement of new projects. Similarly, Personal, cultural and recreational services increased by 336 exporters (65%), returning to a similar level as 2006-07. Maintenance and repair service exporters decreased in number by 85 (12%) from 2007-08 to 2008-09 while exporters applying Charges for the use of intellectual property decreased by 64 (6%). The 'Other business services' category decreased by 55 (3%) from 2007-08 to 2008-09.

The value of Construction services increased from $22m to $103m (368%) from 2007-08 to 2008-09 due to the commencement of several new projects. The value of Travel services increased by $2,775m (10%), while Transport services decreased by $1,243m (-14%).

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