1107.0.55.001 - Directory of Energy Statistics, 2000  
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Contents >> Individual Collections >> International Merchandise Trade Statistics


International Merchandise Trade Statistics


Assistant Director
International Trade Section
Australian Bureau of Statistics
PO Box 10

For queries on international trade statistics:
Telephone: 02 6252 5411 (exports) or 02 6252 5313 (imports)
Facsimile: 02 6252 7438

For data requests and client services:
Telephone: 02 6252 5400
Facsimile: 02 6252 7102
Email: client.services@abs.gov.au
Internet: www.abs.gov.au


International merchandise trade statistics measure Australian exports and imports of goods. They are used to analyse changes in the commodity composition of exports and imports, undertake trade negotiations (e.g. General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade) and evaluate the domestic market implications of export and import activity including opportunities for expanded production for export markets or import replacement.


Merchandise trade covers all moveable goods which add to (imports) or subtract from (exports) Australia's stock of material resources, as a result of their movement into or out of Australia.

Method of collection

Data are compiled from information submitted by exporters and importers or their agents to the Australian Customs Service.

Data detail

Data are available for exports, imports (goods which cross the Customs' frontier into Australia in a particular period) and imports cleared for home consumption (goods which enter the Australian domestic market in a particular period).

Unless affected by confidentiality restrictions, the following data items are available:

  • Detailed commodity classification of the goods
  • Value of goods
  • Quantity of goods
  • Gross weight of goods, for exports by commodity, and for total imports (from 1 July 1992 onwards)
  • Overseas country, country of origin for imports and import clearances, and country of final destination for exports
  • Overseas port (from 1 July 1992 onwards), port of loading for imports, and port of discharge for exports
  • Australian State and port, State/port of discharge and State of final destination for imports, State of final destination for import clearances and State of origin and State/port of loading for exports
  • Mode of transport
  • Nature of entry details (imports and import clearances)
  • Import duty rates, amount of duty paid on goods cleared for Australian consumption and other duty information (import clearances)

    International merchandise trade statistics can be provided on a commodity basis classified according to the third revision of the United Nations' Standard International Trade Classification or the World Customs Organisation's Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System; by Australian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification industry of origin; and by broad economic categories.

    Geographic coverage

    Covers imports into and exports out of Australia. Data by overseas country and port and by Australian State and port are available.

    Frequency of data availability

    Monthly. Any aggregation of months can also be provided. Calendar month: for exports, goods are included in the month in which they left Australia; for imports, goods are included in the month in which the entries are processed by Customs.

    Historical data

    Detailed statistics for reference periods from January 1988 are readily available. Statistics for earlier periods are also available, though not at the same level of detail.

    Products and services available


    For exports and imports statistics:

  • International Merchandise Trade, Australia (cat. no. 5422.0) - quarterly publication

    For imports statistics only:

  • International Merchandise Imports, Australia (cat. no. 5439.0) - monthly publication

    Other products and services

  • Consultancy service - provides a wide range of information specifically tailored. Information is available on an ad hoc or subscription basis and can be provided on a range of media
  • Time series data in publication format are available from January 1988 onwards - publications covering earlier periods are available for reference in Australian Bureau of Statistics libraries
  • International Trade Information Kit - outlines concepts and definitions, classifications, confidentiality, data availability and products and services

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