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5422.0 - International Merchandise Trade, Australia, Mar 2000  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 24/05/2000   
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MEDIA RELEASE

May 24, 2000
Embargoed: 11:30 AM (AEST)
55/2000

Australia becomes a net exporter of crude petroleum

Australia became a net exporter of crude petroleum for the first time in eight years during the March quarter 2000 according to a report released today by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).
The value of Australia's trade in crude petroleum has surged following the dramatic increase in international oil prices over the past year.

The ABS report, contained in International Merchandise Trade, Australia as a feature article, shows that, between March quarter 1999 and March quarter 2000:
  • the value of Australia's exports of crude petroleum rose from $328 million to $1503 million (a 358 per cent increase)
  • the volume of Australia's exports of crude petroleum rose from 2.8 billion litres to 5.8 billion litres (a 108 per cent increase)
  • the value of Australia's imports of crude petroleum rose from $791 million to $1215 million (a 54 per cent increase)
  • the volume of Australia's imports of crude petroleum fell from 7.2 billion litres to 4.8 billion litres (a 33 per cent decrease).

The main factor influencing these trends is the substantial increase in international oil prices over this period. Other factors include the recent commencement of production from significant new Australian fields, some switching by Australian refineries to source crude petroleum from domestic production rather than imports, and the fall in the exchange rate for the Australian dollar against other currencies.

The major destinations for Australia's exports of crude petroleum are the United States of America, Taiwan, Japan, Republic of Korea and Singapore. The major sources for Australia's imports of crude petroleum are Indonesia, Vietnam, Papua New Guinea, New Zealand and Saudi Arabia.

The publication, International Merchandise Trade, Australia (cat. no. 5422.0) is available from ABS bookshops in all capital cities. A summary of it's main features is available at this site. If you wish to purchase a copy of the publication, contact the ABS Bookshop in your capital city.

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