Australian Bureau of Statistics

Rate the ABS website
ABS Home > Statistics > By Release Date
5368.0 - International Trade in Goods and Services, Australia, Dec 2007  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 11/02/2008   
   Page tools: Print Print Page Print all pages in this productPrint All RSS Feed RSS Bookmark and Share Search this Product

EXPORT AND IMPORT INVOICE CURRENCIES, DEC 2007


INTRODUCTION

Goods imported into and exported from Australia can be invoiced in a range of currencies. This article analyses the major currencies used in these invoices. In particular, this article looks at:

  • Compositional changes in the currencies used to invoice goods imported into and exported from Australia for the five quarters from December quarter 2006 to December quarter 2007.
  • The currencies used to invoice imports into and exports from Australia by selected divisions of the Standard International Trade Classification Revision 3 (SITC Rev 3).
  • Comparisons of the currencies used to invoice merchandise trade from the 2004 calendar year through to the 2007 calendar year.

Similar analyses appeared in the March quarter 1998, March quarter 2001 and March quarter 2003 issues of the discontinued publication, International Merchandise Trade, Australia (cat. no. 5422.0). The last analysis, in respect of March quarter 2005, appeared as a feature article in the June 2005 release of International Trade in Goods and Services, Australia (cat. no. 5368.0).


All values in this article are reported in Australian dollars. Details about the measurement of invoice currencies are provided as an appendix to this article.



EXCHANGE RATES

Graph 1 shows movements in the value of the Australian dollar against selected currencies and the movement in the Trade Weighted Index (TWI) from December 2004 to December 2007. The graph shows that the Australian dollar has appreciated substantially against the currencies of most of Australia's major trading partners over this period, particularly against the Japanese yen.


Over this period the Australian dollar appreciated against:

  • the Japanese yen (JPY) by 23%
  • the United States dollar (USD) by 13%
  • the United Kingdom pound sterling (GBP) by 9%
  • the New Zealand dollar (NZD) by 5%
  • the Euro (EUR) by 5%.

There has been an overall rise in the TWI of 9% between December 2004 and December 2007.

GRAPH 1. MOVEMENTS IN SELECTED EXCHANGE RATES

Graph: Movements in Selected Exchange Rates



With an appreciating Australian dollar, Australian exports invoiced in Australian dollars provide greater returns to the exporters but, all other things being equal, the exports become less attractive to foreign buyers as it takes more of their currency to purchase Australian goods. In contrast, Australian exports invoiced in other currencies provide smaller Australian dollar returns to exporters and decrease the nominal value of Australian exports. From the import perspective, an appreciating Australian dollar makes imports invoiced in other currencies more attractive to domestic consumers as their purchase requires fewer Australian dollars.


For the purpose of producing Australian import and export statistics, foreign currencies are converted to the Australian dollar using the exchange rate applicable on the day of shipment. However, these statistics may differ from actual payments as trading partners may undertake the conversion for payment purposes using a different exchange rate or one applying on a different day. In addition, some exporters and importers hedge exchange rates and calculate the value of the transaction using the hedged exchange rate rather than the prevailing exchange rate.


A feature article, "The Terms of Trade and the National Accounts", released with the December quarter 2004 issue of National Income, Expenditure and Product, Australia (cat. no. 5206.0) discusses, amongst other things, how exchange rates can influence the terms of trade.



EXPORT CURRENCIES

Table 1 lists the major currencies used to invoice Australian exports of merchandise goods during a five quarter period, beginning December quarter 2006 and ending December quarter 2007.

TABLE 1. INVOICE CURRENCIES FOR EXPORTS

Invoice currency
Dec Qtr 2006
Mar Qtr 2007
Jun Qtr 2007
Sep Qtr 2007
Dec Qtr 2007

VALUE ($m)

USD
32 577
30 171
32 044
31 964
31 946
AUD
9 075
8 311
8 955
9 144
9 529
EUR
451
349
408
381
421
NZD
402
354
403
431
453
GBP
298
329
355
385
322
JPY
327
182
171
360
221
Other
110
111
104
137
128
Total
43 239
39 806
42 439
42 802
43 020

CONTRIBUTION (%)

USD
75.3
75.8
75.5
74.7
74.3
AUD
21.0
20.9
21.1
21.4
22.2
EUR
1.0
0.9
1.0
0.9
1.0
NZD
0.9
0.9
0.9
1.0
1.1
GBP
0.7
0.8
0.8
0.9
0.7
JPY
0.8
0.5
0.4
0.8
0.5
Other
0.3
0.3
0.2
0.3
0.3
Total
100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0


During this period, approximately 75% of Australia's merchandise exports were invoiced in United States dollars. Merchandise exports invoiced in Australian dollars accounted for about 21% of exports. The percentage contributions of both the United States dollar and Australian dollar remained relatively steady across the five quarters. About 1% of Australia's merchandise exports were invoiced in each of the Euro, New Zealand dollar, United Kingdom pound sterling and Japanese yen.


The group of currencies classified as "Other" in the above table in total accounted for approximately 0.3% of Australian merchandise exports over this period. The main currencies in this '"Other" group include the Singapore dollar, Hong Kong dollar and Thai baht.



EXPORT COMMODITIES

Table 2 lists the major currencies used to invoice Australian exports by selected SITC Rev 3 divisions (2 digit) for the 2007 calendar year.

TABLE 2. EXPORT INVOICE CURRENCIES FOR SELECTED SITC Rev 3 DIVISONS(a), Percentage Contributions - For calendar year 2007

Value  
USD
AUD
EUR
NZD
GBP
JPY
Other
SITC code description
($m)
(%)
(%)
(%)
(%)
(%)
(%)
(%)

28 Metalliferous ores and metal scrap
35 330
95.3
4.7
-
-
-
-
-
32 Coal, coke and briquettes
20 878
94.3
5.6
-
-
-
-
-
68 Non-ferrous metals
13 648
93.4
6.5
-
-
-
-
-
97 Gold, non-monetary (excl. gold ores and concentrates)
11 344
98.9
1.1
-
-
-
-
-
33 Petroleum, petroleum products and related materials
11 183
85.8
14.1
-
-
-
-
-
01 Meat and meat preparations
6 630
51.5
42.9
0.7
0.4
0.9
2.9
0.7
34 Gas, natural and manufactured
6 123
82.1
17.9
-
-
-
-
-
78 Road vehicles (incl. air-cushion vehicles)
4 072
63.3
24.8
0.6
10.6
0.6
0.1
-
54 Medicinal and pharmaceutical products
3 934
9.3
77.9
2.3
3.5
4.9
0.4
1.7
04 Cereals and cereal preparations
3 365
85.5
13.2
0.1
0.2
0.1
0.6
0.2
26 Textile fibres and their wastes (not manufactured into yarn or fabric)
3 341
57.7
38.5
3.3
-
0.3
0.1
-
11 Beverages
3 101
5.0
71.7
2.0
1.9
16.9
0.2
2.3
02 Dairy products and birds' eggs
2 439
74.3
24.2
0.3
-
0.2
1.0
-
89 Miscellaneous manufactured articles, n.e.s.
2 353
21.8
58.0
2.7
6.9
8.1
0.4
2.0
77 Electrical machinery, apparatus, appliances, parts (incl. non-electrical counterparts of electrical domestic equipment)
1 857
30.3
58.3
5.5
2.1
3.2
0.2
0.4
87 Professional, scientific and controlling instruments and apparatus, n.e.s.
1 810
42.0
37.4
11.4
2.5
3.2
1.2
2.2
72 Machinery specialised for particular industries
1 719
24.6
69.2
3.2
1.4
0.9
-
0.6
74 General industrial machinery and equipment, n.e.s. and machine parts, n.e.s.
1 665
20.5
73.3
2.6
1.0
1.9
0.2
0.4
93 Special transactions and commodities not classified according to kind
1 350
30.1
61.5
0.5
7.0
0.2
0.1
0.6
05 Vegetables and fruit
1 291
35.5
59.0
1.0
1.7
0.6
1.5
0.7
Other
30 633
57.4
35.3
2.3
1.9
0.6
2.0
0.5
Total
168 067
75.0
21.4
0.9
1.0
0.8
0.6
0.3

- nil or rounded to zero (including null cells)
(a) Some SITC sections and division exclude commodities subject to a confidentiality restriction. These are included in Other.


Nine of the 10 largest commodity groups exported during 2007 were primarily invoiced in United States dollars. Of these, the four largest commodity groups had over 90% of their value invoiced in United States dollars, namely:

  • 99% of exports of gold, non-monetary (excl. gold ores and concentrates) (SITC 97)
  • 95% of exports of metalliferous ores and metal scrap (SITC 28)
  • 94% of exports of coal, coke and briquettes (SITC 32)
  • 93% of exports of non-ferrous metals (SITC 68).

Eight of the 20 largest export commodity groups were primarily invoiced in Australian dollars with the largest being:
  • 78% of exports of medicinal and pharmaceutical products (SITC 54)
  • 73% of exports of general industrial machinery and equipment, n.e.s and machine parts (SITC 74)
  • 72% of exports of beverages (SITC 11).


IMPORT CURRENCIES

Table 3 lists the major currencies used to invoice Australian imports of merchandise goods during a five quarter period, beginning December quarter 2006 and ending December quarter 2007.

TABLE 3. INVOICE CURRENCIES FOR IMPORTS

Invoice currency
Dec Qtr 2006
Mar Qtr 2007
Jun Qtr 2007
Sep Qtr 2007
Dec Qtr 2007

VALUE ($ million)

USD
23 977
21 920
23 446
24 596
26 207
AUD
15 565
15 322
15 516
15 907
17 083
EUR
4 025
3 829
3 800
3 871
4 094
NZD
506
424
464
499
535
GBP
668
741
689
698
701
JPY
1 013
942
919
937
962
Other  
926
831
830
1 158
847
Total
46 678
44 008
45 663
47 666
50 429

CONTRIBUTION (%)

USD
51.4
49.8
51.3
51.6
52.0
AUD
33.3
34.8
34.0
33.4
33.9
EUR
8.6
8.7
8.3
8.1
8.1
NZD
1.1
1.0
1.0
1.0
1.1
GBP
1.4
1.7
1.5
1.5
1.4
JPY
2.2
2.1
2.0
2.0
1.9
Other  
2.0
1.9
1.8
2.4
1.7
Total
100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0

During this period, approximately 51% of Australia's merchandise imports were invoiced in United States dollars, 34% were invoiced in Australian dollars with the Euro (8%) the next largest currency. Percentage contributions of the United States dollar, Australian dollar and Euro remained relatively steady across the quarters.


The group of currencies classified as "Other" in the above table in total accounted for about 2% of Australian merchandise imports. The main currencies in this "Other" group include the Singapore dollar, Hong Kong dollar and Thai baht which were the same main currencies in the "Other" group for exports.



IMPORT COMMODITIES

Table 4 lists the major currencies used to invoice Australian imports by selected SITC Rev 3 divisions (2 digit) for the 2007 calendar year.

TABLE 4. IMPORT INVOICE CURRENCIES FOR SELECTED SITC Rev 3 DIVISIONS(a), Percentage Contributions - For calendar year 2007

Value
USD
AUD
EUR
NZD
GBP
JPY
Other
SITC code description
($m)
(%)
(%)
(%)
(%)
(%)
(%)
(%)

78 Road vehicles (incl. air-cushion vehicles)
24 310
12.9
74.7
7.2
0.2
0.6
4.1
0.3
33 Petroleum, petroleum products and related materials
23 316
99.7
0.2
0.1
-
-
-
-
76 Telecommunications and sound recording and reproducing apparatus and equipment
10 214
39.9
52.6
2.9
0.3
1.0
2.9
0.5
74 General industrial machinery and equipment, n.e.s. and machine parts, n.e.s.
9 923
37.7
30.1
21.8
1.0
2.0
4.1
3.4
75 Office machines and automatic data processing machines
9 669
71.8
22.5
1.5
0.3
0.6
2.5
0.8
89 Miscellaneous manufactured articles, n.e.s.
9 441
40.8
40.2
8.4
1.7
3.9
1.1
4.0
77 Electrical machinery, apparatus, appliances, parts (incl. non-electrical counterparts of electrical domestic equipment
8 990
48.6
32.4
12.1
0.8
2.4
1.3
2.4
54 Medicinal and pharmaceutical products
7 981
13.4
79.8
3.9
0.4
1.5
0.1
1.0
72 Machinery specialised for particular industries
7 091
37.4
21.3
24.2
0.9
4.2
8.9
3.2
97 Gold, non-monetary (excl. gold ores and concentrates)
6 128
89.6
1.6
0.1
3.7
-
-
5.0
69 Manufactures of metals, n.e.s.
4 695
52.8
26.4
13.5
1.2
1.6
0.9
3.5
84 Articles of apparel and clothing accessories
4 467
65.3
23.2
3.4
1.1
0.6
0.2
6.3
87 Professional,scientific and controlling instruments and apparatus, n.e.s.
4 224
40.4
33.7
15.2
0.9
4.4
1.9
3.6
79 Transport equipment (excl. road vehicles)
4 181
70.6
15.0
8.0
0.7
4.2
0.1
1.4
71 Power generating machinery and equipment
3 952
45.9
23.3
17.1
0.7
3.6
4.1
5.3
67 Iron and steel  
3 773
66.2
25.0
5.4
0.3
0.8
1.6
0.7
51 Organic materials
3 381
42.7
52.9
2.8
0.1
0.9
0.4
0.2
64 Paper, paperboard, and articles of paper pulp, of paper or of paperboard  
2 752
31.9
52.0
8.7
4.4
0.5
0.4
2.1
65 Textiles yarn, fabrics, made up articles n.e.s. and related products
2 474
62.7
19.4
10.7
3.5
1.7
0.9
1.2
62 Rubber manufactures, n.e.s.  
2 462
36.2
50.3
7.8
0.3
0.8
3.6
1.1
Other
34 342
53.8
27.0
11.3
2.1
1.8
1.4
2.6
Total
187 765
51.2
34.0
8.3
1.0
1.5
2.0
2.0

- nil or rounded to zero (including null cells)
(a) Some SITC sections and division exclude commodities subject to a confidentiality restriction. These are included in Other.


The United States dollar was the currency most used in invoices for the majority of the above SITC commodity groupings. Almost 100% of imports of petroleum, petroleum products and related materials (SITC 33), 90% of gold, non-monetary (excl. gold ores and concentrates) (SITC 97) and 72% of imports of office machines and automatic data processing machines (SITC 75) were invoiced in United States dollars.


For a small number of commodity groups the Australian dollar was the most used import invoice currency. Invoicing in Australian dollars accounted for 75% of imports of road vehicles (incl.air cushion vehicles) (SITC 78), 80% of medicinal and pharmaceutical products (SITC 54), 53% of organic materials (SITC 51) and 53% of telecommunications and sound recording and reproducing apparatus and equipment (SITC 76).


The Euro was the third most significant import invoice currency accounting for 24% of machinery specialised for particular industries (SITC 72), 22% of imports of general industrial machinery and equipment n.e.s. and machine parts, n.e.s. (SITC 74) and 17% of imports of power generating machinery and equipment (SITC 71).



RECENT YEARS COMPARISON

Table 5 shows the proportion of exports and imports invoiced in the major currencies in the last four calendar years from 2004 to 2007.

TABLE 5: EXPORTS AND IMPORTS  

2004
2005
2006
2007
Invoice currency
%
%
%
%

EXPORTS

USD
69.4
72.6
75.4
75.0
AUD
26.2
23.5
21.1
21.4
EUR
1.3
1.1
1.0
0.9
NZD
1.2
1.1
0.8
1.0
GBP
1.0
0.8
0.7
0.8
JPY
0.8
0.7
0.7
0.6
Other
0.1
0.3
0.3
0.3
Total  
100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0
Total exports ($m)
117 887
139 079
163 754
168 067

IMPORTS

USD
49.8
51.6
52.9
51.2
AUD
32.1
31.7
32.1
34.0
EUR
9.1
8.9
8.2
8.3
NZD
1.3
1.2
1.1
1.0
GBP
1.9
1.7
1.4
1.5
JPY
2.8
2.6
2.3
2.0
Other
3.0
2.4
2.0
2.0
Total
100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0
Total Imports ($m)
141 247
155 729
176 090
187 765


The proportion of merchandise exports invoiced in United States dollars increased steadily from 69% in 2004 to 75% in both 2006 and 2007. The main offset to this increase was a decrease in exports invoiced in Australian dollars from 26% in 2004 to 21% in both 2006 and 2007. The proportion of exports invoiced in other currencies remained relatively constant over the four year period. In 2007, approximately 1% of Australia's merchandise exports were invoiced in each of the Euro, United Kingdom pound sterling, Japanese yen and New Zealand dollar. The group of currencies classified as "Other" accounted for less than 1% of Australian merchandise exports.


The proportion of imports invoiced in United States dollars increased slightly from 50% in 2004 to 51% in 2007 with a peak of 53% in 2006, while those invoiced in Australian dollars grew from 32% in 2004 to 34% in 2007. The proportion of imports invoiced in each of the other currencies decreased slightly over the four year period. In 2007 approximately 8% of Australia's merchandise imports were invoiced in the Euro, 2% were invoiced in each of the United Kingdom pound sterling and Japanese yen, and 1% in the New Zealand dollar. The group of currencies classified as "Other" accounted for 2% of Australian merchandise imports.



ABBREVIATIONS


$m million Australian dollars
ABS Australian Bureau of Statistics
excl. excluding
GBP United Kingdom pound sterling
JPYJapanese yen
n.e.s.not elsewhere specified
NZD New Zealand dollar
SITC Rev 3Standard International Trade Classification Revision 3
TWI Trade Weighted Index
USD United States dollar



APPENDIX

MEASUREMENT of INVOICE CURRENCIES

Information on the invoice currencies used in export and import transactions is collected by the Australian Customs Service (Customs) and passed to the ABS with other merchandise trade information required for statistical purposes.

For exports, the ABS converts values reported in foreign currencies to Australian dollars using a representative mid-point of the buy and sell rates on the date of departure of the goods from Australia.


For imports, Customs converts values reported in foreign currencies to Australian dollars using exchange rates applicable on the date of departure of the goods from the overseas country. The ABS receives details of the invoice currency together with the value of the import transaction in Australian dollars.


For the purpose of Australian import and export statistics, foreign currencies are converted to the Australian dollar using the exchange rate applicable on the date of shipment. However, trading partners may undertake the conversion for payment purposes using a different exchange rate or one applying on a different day. In addition, some exporters and importers hedge exchange rates and calculate the value of the transaction using the hedged exchange rate rather than the prevailing exchange rate. For more information about hedging activity undertaken by importers and exporters in 2005, refer to Foreign Currency Exposure, Australia, March 2005 (cat. no. 5308.0)


For exports prior to October 2004, Customs only permitted goods to be invoiced in a relatively small number of currencies. In October 2004, the range of currencies allowed on export documents was increased to 28. As transactions in non-permitted currencies are converted to Australian dollars by the exporter, the increase in the number of permitted currencies may have reduced the proportion of export invoices reported in Australian dollars for December quarter 2004 and following quarters.


Bookmark and Share. Opens in a new window

© Commonwealth of Australia 2014

Unless otherwise noted, content on this website is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 Australia Licence together with any terms, conditions and exclusions as set out in the website Copyright notice. For permission to do anything beyond the scope of this licence and copyright terms contact us.