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5368.0.55.006 - Characteristics of Australian Exporters, 2009-10  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 30/03/2011   
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ANALYSIS AND COMMENTS


OVERVIEW

There were 45,057 Australian exporters in 2009-10, a decrease of 502 exporters from 2008-09. Of these Australian exporters, 42,652 were exporters of merchandise goods and 3,613 were exporters of services. Of those businesses engaged in exporting services, an estimated 1,208 (33%) were also exporters of merchandise goods.

The value of total goods and services exports fell by 11% from 2008-09 to 2009-10. The total value of goods exports decreased by 13%, and the value of total services exports fell 1%.

A number of factors have impacted the number of exporters and value of Australian exports, including movements in the exchange rate, changes in commodity prices and the Global Financial Crisis. The average A$ exchange rate during 2009-10 was $0.88 against the US$ compared to $0.75 during 2008-09. The majority of Australia's trade is contracted in US dollars and an increase in the value of the A$ relative to the US$ effectively raises the cost of Australia's exports. The average Trade Weighted Index for 2009-10 was 68.9, compared to 60.2 for 2008-09.

In 2009-10 there were 241 goods exporters with aggregate goods exports worth $100m or higher. This was a decrease of 15 from 2008-09 compared to an increase of 22 from 2007-08 to 2008-09. Although these 241 goods exporters represented less than 1% of the total goods exporter population, they contributed 82% of value of goods exports in 2009-10.

There were 28,816 (68%) goods exporters with aggregate goods exports worth less than $100,000 that contributed less than 1% of the value of total goods exports in 2009-10. 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 29% of goods exporters.

There were 3,613 service exporters in 2009-10, an increase of 213 (6%) from 2008-09. The increase in the number of service exporters was driven by businesses with services exports of 'less than $1m', which increased by 386 (16%) to 2,759.

The value of services exported in 2009-10 decreased by $602m (1%), to $52,017m when compared to 2008-09. The decrease in the value of services exported was mainly driven by businesses with services exports of '$100m or more', where the value decreased by $1,847m (19%) to $8,083m from 2008-09. The value of services exports by 'Other Services Exporters' increased by $1,788m (5%) to $34,912m. This category covers service types including travel, insurance and government services.


EXPORT ACTIVITY

(Table 2)

During 2009-10, 19,901 (47%) of goods exporters lodged only 1 or 2 export transactions. The total value of their goods exports was $824m (less than 1% of total goods exports). 11,432 goods exporters lodged only 1 or 2 export transactions and had total exports worth less than $10,000. There were 4,200 (10%) goods exporters lodging more than 50 transactions, and the total value of their exports was $174b (87% of total goods exports).


INDUSTRY

(Tables 3 and 4)

Industries with the most significant contribution by exporting businesses to the total value of goods exports in 2009-10 were Mining (48%), Manufacturing (22%) and Wholesale trade (12%). These three industries accounted for $165b (82%) of the value of goods exports in 2009-10 compared to $195b (85%) in 2008-09.

The industries with the highest number of goods exporters in 2009-10 were Wholesale trade (12,027 or 28%) and Manufacturing (9,454 or 22%).

The 'Other' category had the largest decrease in number of exporters (227) followed by Manufacturing (202). The most significant decreases in the value of goods exports between 2008-09 and 2009-10 were in Mining, down $15b (14%) to $97b, and Manufacturing, down $13b (23%) to $44b.

The average value of exports per business in 2009-10 was $5m, the same as 2008-09. In 2009-10, the Mining industry had the highest average value of exports per exporter ($180m). The lowest average value of total exports per exporter was in Construction services ($0.3m per exporter).

Mining had the highest correlation (84%) between the industry that produced the commodity and the industry which exported the final product.


BUSINESS SIZE

(Table 5)

There were 4,274 large businesses exporting goods in 2009-10, representing 10% of all businesses exporting goods. These businesses exported goods worth $188b (94%) of all exports. (See paragraphs 24-26 of the Explanatory notes for a definition of business size.) The industry with the highest percentage of large businesses was Mining (39%). The 211 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 were Manufacturing (1,152 goods exporters with $40b of goods exports) and Wholesale trade (1,021 goods exporters with $20b of goods exports).

Medium sized businesses represented 49% of all goods exporters in 2009-10. These businesses exported 6% of the total value of goods exports. The Manufacturing and Wholesale trade industries had the highest proportion of medium sized businesses. Of the medium sized businesses, those in the Manufacturing and Wholesale trade industries had the largest value of goods exports.

In 2009-10, small businesses made up 41% of all goods exporters by number and contributed less than 1% of the total value of goods exports. The industry with the highest number of small goods exporters in 2009-10 was Wholesale trade with 4,394. Of the small businesses, those 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 (ABR). In 2009-10, 9% of goods exporting businesses did not have an ABN. These businesses were allocated a business size based on the value of their exports. The business size of exporters with an ABN was based on several factors and caution should be exercised in interpreting these data (see paragraphs 24-26 of the Explanatory Notes). 99% of goods exporting businesses without an ABN were classified as small businesses. For businesses with an ABN, the highest proportion of small businesses were in the Retail trade (41%), Construction (38%) and the Agriculture, forestry and fishing (38%) industries.


STATE DATA

(Tables 6, 7 and 8)

42% of Australia's total value of goods exports in 2009-10 came from Western Australia, followed by Queensland (22%), New South Wales (16%), and Victoria (9%).

Western Australia ($55b) and Queensland ($26b) have combined mining exports of $81b, representing 84% of total exports by exporters in the Mining industry in 2009-10. Western Australia ($13b) and New South Wales ($11b) have combined manufacturing exports of $24b, contributing 55% of total exports by exporters in the Manufacturing industry.


LOCATION OF SMALL GOODS EXPORTERS

(Table 9)

Of the small businesses with an ABN exporting goods, 36% had their main State of business operations in New South Wales, 27% in Victoria, 19% in Queensland, 10% in Western Australia, 6% in South Australia and less than 1% in Tasmania.

The total count of small businesses with an ABN exporting goods increased for all states from 2008-09 to 2009-10. The states with the largest increase in the number of small exporters were Queensland (262), Victoria (235) and New South Wales (151).


SERVICES EXPORTERS

(Table 10)

The number of businesses exporting services increased by 213 (6%) to 3,613 in 2009-10. This increase was driven by:

  • Other business services, up 234 (11%)
  • Charges for the use of intellectual property n.i.e., up 191 (19%)
  • Personal, cultural and recreational services, up 177 (21%)
  • Telecommunication, computer and information services, up 163 (16%).

These increases were offset by Construction services, down 85 (16%), and Maintenance and repair services n.i.e., down 28 (5%).

The value of services exported decreased $602m (1%) to $52,071m in 2009-10 with:
  • Transport, down $1,153m (16%)
  • Other business services, down $882m (11%)
  • Telecommunication, computer and information services, down $333m (16%)
  • Financial services, down $224m (18%).

These decreases were offset by the value of services exports for Travel increasing $1,926m (6%) and Charges for the use of intellectual property n.i.e. increasing $115m (13%).


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