Australian Bureau of Statistics

Rate the ABS website
ABS Home > Statistics > By Release Date
ABS @ Facebook ABS @ Twitter ABS RSS ABS Email notification service
5216.0 - Australian National Accounts: Concepts, Sources and Methods, 2000  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 15/11/2000   
   Page tools: Print Print Page Print all pages in this productPrint All RSS Feed RSS Bookmark and Share Search this Product  
Contents >> Chapter 18: Exports and imports

Introduction

18.1 In any given period, some of the output of an economy may be acquired by non-residents. Such transactions are classified as exports of goods and services. Similarly, some of the goods and services acquired by residents in a particular period may have been produced by non-residents, rather than produced domestically. These transactions are classified as imports of goods and services.

18.2 The exports and imports series shown in the national accounts are identical to those provided in the balance of payments statistics. (In the balance of payments, exports are labelled 'credits' and imports 'debits'.) The publication Balance of Payments and International Investment Position: Australia, Concepts, Sources and Methods (Cat. no. 5331.0) provides an extensive description of the concepts, sources and methods for exports and imports statistics in its Chapter 6 (Current Account: Goods) and Chapter 7 (Current Account: Services). The material in this chapter is essentially a summary of that provided in Cat. no. 5331.0, which should be consulted if further detail is required.

18.3 As with other transactions recorded in the national accounts, exports and imports are recorded at the time the change in ownership of real assets occurs, or when a service is delivered. This time of recording may not coincide with when payments are made, in which case entries for pre- or post-payments will be recorded in the financial account. In some cases (i.e. gifts or grants) goods and services may be exported or imported (and recorded as such in the national accounts) without a settlement ever being required. In these cases, either a current or capital transfer will be recorded in lieu of an actual payment.

18.4 In the various national accounts publications, exports and imports of goods and services are generally shown as a single aggregate. (The main exception is the detailed input-output tables, where exports and imports are broken down by industry of origin or by product group.) In the balance of payments, however, exports and imports are broken down into a number of components. Table 18.1 shows the main components.


18.1 GOODS AND SERVICES---MAIN COMPONENTS SHOWN IN THE BALANCE OF PAYMENTS

GoodsGeneral merchandise
Goods for processing
Repairs on goods
Goods procured in ports by carriers
Non-monetary gold

ServicesTransportation services
Travel services
Other services


18.5 'Goods' covers transactions involving most movable goods. However, transactions between residents and non-residents in some movable goods are classified as services. The most notable example is goods acquired by travellers, which are classified as travel services.

18.6 Exports and imports of goods are both valued free on board (f.o.b.) at the customs frontier of the exporting country. The f.o.b. price includes the value of distributive services involved in transporting the goods to the customs frontier and in loading the goods onto the carrier. The f.o.b. price does not include distributive services provided in transferring the goods from the customs frontier of the exporting country to the recipient of the goods. If such services are provided on Australia's imports by non-residents they will be recorded as imports of transportation services. If such services are provided by Australian residents on Australia's exports they will be recorded as exports of transportation services.

18.7 The values of exports and imports denominated in foreign currencies are converted into Australian dollars using market rates of exchange. If exporters and importers use derivative instruments to hedge against foreign exchange rate movements, then the cash flows associated with these instruments will be recorded as transactions in derivatives, which are shown in the financial account.

18.8 The remainder of this chapter deals with the sources and methods for compiling exports and imports of goods and services. The compilation of current price estimates is described first, followed by that of volume estimates.


Current prices

Goods

18.9 The main data source for exports and imports of goods is the ABS's international trade statistics (ITS), which are derived from information reported by exporters and importers, or their agents, to the Australian Customs Service. However, as international trade statistics do not cover all goods exported and imported, and do not necessarily record exports and imports in the period in which the changes of ownership actually take place, they are supplemented by other sources. The most notable of these are:

      • the ABS's quarterly Survey of Principal Transport Enterprises, which provides information on offshore installations, ships, aircraft and satellites operating in Australian or international waters or airspace that are sold by residents to non-residents or purchased by residents from non-residents;
      • the ABS's quarterly Survey of International Trade in Services, which provides information about goods procured in foreign ports by Australian carriers and about certain repairs on transportation equipment;
      • quarterly advices from the Department of Defence on exports and imports of defence equipment; and
      • monthly and quarterly advices from the Reserve Bank of Australia, which provide information on gold sales and purchases by non-residents (where the gold is held in custody in Australia by the Reserve Bank) and certain gold exports and imports associated with Reserve Bank gold loans.

18.10 As all of the sources required to compile statistics on exports and imports of goods are available at least on a quarterly basis, the annual estimates are obtained by summing the quarterly estimates.

Transportation services

18.11 The principal sources of information on exports and imports of transportation services are the International Trade Statistics, which are used to compile estimates of imports of freight services associated with goods imports, and the Survey of International Trade in Services (SITS), which is used to compile all other components of transportation services, with adjustments from other sources. Annual estimates are obtained by summing quarterly estimates.

Travel services

18.12 Three data models are used to provide estimates of exports and imports of travel services. The models cover:

      • Travel by Australian residents abroad - this model is based on data about the credit card and travellers' cheque expenditure abroad by Australian travellers, as well as expenditure on cruise fares and prepaid packages, sourced from the Survey of International Trade in Services. These data are supplemented by data on cash taken abroad by Australian travellers and on other sources of travel finance collected every four years in the Survey of Returned Australian Travellers.
      • Travel by non-residents (other than students) in Australia - this model applies estimates of per capita expenditure, from the Bureau of Tourism Research's quarterly International Visitor Survey (IVS), to numbers of travellers obtained from the ABS's monthly overseas arrivals and departures statistics, with adjustments from other sources.
      • Travel by non-resident students in Australia - this model primarily applies estimates of per capita expenditure by students holding education visas from the Department of Education, Training and Youth Affairs' (DETYA) Surveys of International Students (which are extrapolated and interpolated using CPI data) to estimates of the number of foreign students studying in Australia, which are also obtained from DETYA. The DETYA data are supplemented for expenditure for non-resident students who do not hold education visas with information derived from the IVS.

18.13 Each of these models provides monthly and quarterly estimates. Annual estimates are obtained by summing quarterly estimates.

Other services

18.14 The principal source for estimates of exports and imports of other services is the Survey of International Trade in Services. Estimates of insurance services are based on a data model, of which the main input is the Australian Prudential Regulatory Authority's Survey of Insurance Companies and Agents. Estimates of financial services are also derived primarily from two data models, one which is used to estimate financial intermediation services indirectly measured on loans and deposits with non-resident financial corporations, and the other which is used to estimate implicit fees on foreign exchange trading. Information from the Commonwealth government and the State governments is used to estimate certain government services, while periodic data from foreign embassies are used to estimate embassies' imports of services.

18.15 The quality of the estimates varies for each of the components that make up the overall estimates for exports and imports of other services.


Chain volume measures

Exports of goods

18.16 For about 85 per cent, by value, of export commodities, the volume measures are obtained by quantity revaluation, using quantity information recorded in the ITS. The volume measures of the remainder are calculated by deflating current price values using either price indexes or implicit price deflators obtained from quantity revaluation of similar components. The price indexes used include a price index for computer equipment from the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis (which is lagged by three months and adjusted for $A/US exchange rate conversion factors) and the ABS price indexes underlying those published in Export Price Index, Australia (Cat. no. 6405.0) and Price Indexes of Articles Produced by Manufacturing Industry, Australia (Cat. no. 6412.0). The volume measures of the coverage and timing adjustments that are made to bring exports as recorded in the International Trade Statistics onto the required national accounts/balance of payments basis are derived using relevant implicit price deflators from the underlying quantity data, the Export Price Index, Australia (Cat. no. 6405.0) or a combination of both.

Exports of services

18.17 Volume measures are obtained mainly by deflation of the current price values, using relevant ABS price indexes underlying those published in Consumer Price Index, Australia (Cat. no. 6401.0), Price Indexes of Articles Produced by Manufacturing Industry, Australia (Cat. no. 6412.0), Award Rates of Pay Indexes, Australia (Cat. no. 6312.0) up until March quarter 1998 and, from June quarter 1998, Wage Cost Index (Cat. no. 6345.0), as well as some special purpose price indexes. Quantity revaluation is used for some transportation services, where it is assumed that the volume of transportation services moves in the same way as the volume of the goods being transported.

Imports of goods

18.18 All volume measures are derived by deflating current price values using detailed price indexes. All but two of the components are deflated using price indexes derived from those underlying the price indexes published in Import Price Index, Australia (Cat. no. 6414.0). The exceptions are computer equipment, for which the above-mentioned computer equipment price index from the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis is used, and an overseas price index for sea transport equipment.

Imports of services

18.19 In most cases, volume measures are derived by deflating current price values using consumer price indexes from overseas countries, adjusted by exchange rate conversion factors. In other cases, special purpose price indexes, implicit price deflators and ABS price indexes from Consumer Price Index, Australia (Cat. no. 6401.0) and Import Price Index, Australia (Cat. no. 6414.0) are used.


Previous PageNext Page


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.