Australian Bureau of Statistics
5368.0 - International Trade in Goods and Services, Australia, Oct 2003
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 23/06/2004
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Feature Article - Australia's Exporters, 2002-03
b. consistent with previous studies, businesses which exported goods totalling less than $10,000 in 2002-03 are excluded from the estimates of number of exporters;
c. service exporters include businesses which provide services from their Australian base to consumers offshore, i.e. supply modes 1 and 4 in the classification used by the World Trade Organisation (WTO). However, smaller and / or occasional exporters are unlikely to come to ABS notice and are therefore not included in the estimates. The number of excluded businesses may be significant, but the value of their exports is not thought to be appreciable in the totality of service exports. The ABS continues to try to identify these businesses and incorporate them into its surveys;
d. the numbers of service exporters excludes businesses that only supply insurance, financial, government or travel services, as estimates for these service types are not derived from the SITS. Travel services are the supply of goods or services to foreign tourists or students in Australia (supply mode 2), such as hotels, restaurants, retail, tourist facilities, transport, theatres, educational institutions, etc. The estimates also exclude Australian-owned businesses located overseas supplying goods or services in the country in which they are located (usually called foreign affiliates trade - supply mode 3), because their trade does not directly contribute to Australia's exports of goods and services;
e. Australian businesses which supply goods or services to other businesses which undertake the exporting function are excluded. For example, many agricultural products are exported from Australia by wholesalers (such as commodity marketing boards) rather than by the producer; or some consultancy services which are exported may be composed of the work of a number of sub-consultants providing services to the principal consultant, who then exports the combined service.
As the analysis has been undertaken on exports data extracted from earlier publication cycles, the value of exports of goods and services shown in the tables in this article are not consistent with that shown in the October 2003 issue of International Trade in Goods and Services, Australia (Cat. no. 5368.0). In addition, the value of goods exports is on a merchandise trade basis, while the value of service exports is on a balance of payments basis. This has no effect on the estimates of the number of exporters and minimal effect on the analysis of export values.
NUMBER OF EXPORTERS
The number of exporters in 2002-03 was estimated to be 31,174, as shown in Table F1. This was 276 fewer than the estimate for 2001-02 of 31,450 exporters. In the same period, the total value of exports of goods and services fell by $5.3b to $148.0b, with all of the fall due to a decline in the value of goods exports.
The number of goods exporters was estimated to be 29,876 in 2002-03, a decrease of 364. The number of service exporters rose by 56 to 2,306. Of the businesses engaged in service exports, 44% (1,008 ) were also goods exporters. By eliminating the duplication, the total number of exporters was derived at 31,174 (29,876 plus 2,306 less 1,008).
TABLE F1: EXPORTERS
For comparison purposes, the number of goods importers in 2002-03 was estimated to be 57,313, up 2,928 on the estimate of 54,385 importers in 2001-02. Further information on importers will be provided in an upcoming feature article.
As shown in Table F1, Australia's goods exports were dominated by a relatively small number of exporters. In 2002-03, there were 194 businesses with goods exports of $100m or more, accounting for two-thirds of the value of goods exports. In total, 4,353 businesses had exports valued at $1m or more, down marginally on 2001-02. In both years, these exporters accounted for 95% of the total value of goods exports.
There was an increase in the number of businesses that exported between $100,000 and $1m of goods, up 333 to 9,535. Over half of the goods exporters in both 2001-02 and 2002-03 had total exports valued between $10,000 and $100,000. In 2002-03, there were 15,988 exporters in this category, 654 fewer than in 2001-02. These businesses represented just 0.5% of the value of goods exports in each year.
Three quarters (22,340) of the goods exporters in 2002-03 also exported goods in 2001-02. There were 7,900 businesses that exported goods in 2001-02, but did not export any goods in 2002-03. Over 7,500 businesses exported goods in 2002-03, but not in 2001-02. Further analysis of goods exporters also indicated that 1,980 businesses only re-exported goods in 2002-03 (up from 1,200 in 2001-02). Re-exports are goods that are imported and then exported in the same condition or after undergoing repair or minor alterations which leave them essentially unchanged. Minor alterations include blending, packaging and cleaning.
As shown in Table F2, 25% (7,534) of Australia's goods exporters exported only once or twice in 2002-03. This was an increase from 20% (6,442) in 2001-02. The majority of these businesses (6,603) had exports worth less than $100,000.
TABLE F2: EXPORTS OF GOODS, VALUE OF EXPORTS BY NUMBER OF CUSTOMS ENTRIES -- 2002-03
The exporting business which is the subject of this analysis is the owner of the good at the time of export and not necessarily the producer of the good. The most significant exporting industries (of the owning business) were manufacturing (40% of the value of goods exports), mining (31%) and wholesale trade (20%), as shown in Table F3.
These three industries accounted for $104.3b (90%) of goods exported from Australia in 2002-03. The low value for agriculture, forestry and fishing reflects that most exports of agricultural commodities are made by commodity marketing authorities, which are classified as wholesalers. Falls in exports of agricultural commodities due to the drought were the major reason for the $3.0b fall in exports by the wholesaling industry in 2002-03.
The industries with the highest number of goods exporters in the past two years were wholesale trade (9,376 in 2002-03) and manufacturing (9,148 in 2002-03). The manufacturing industry was one of the few industries to record an increase in the number of exporters in 2002-03, up almost 300 compared with 2001-02.
The average value of exports per business in 2002-03 was $5.0m for the manufacturing industry and $2.4m for the wholesaling industry. The industry with the highest average value of exports per business was the mining industry. Its 441 exporters averaged $82m worth of exports each in 2002-03, up from $75m in 2001-02.
TABLE F3: EXPORTS OF GOODS, INDUSTRY OF EXPORTER
Table F4 compares the industry of the exporting business with the industry of origin of the commodity exported. This shows that mining commodities had the highest proportion of exports (87%) by the industry that generally produced them i.e. the mining industry. By comparison, only 12% of Australia's $10.9b of agricultural, forestry and fishing commodity exports were exported by the agriculture, forestry and fishing industries. Most were exported by wholesalers (79%).
Exports of manufactured goods were $69.6b, of which $41.6b (60%) were exported by the manufacturing industry, $11.9b (17%) by the wholesale trade industry, and $8.3b (12%) by the mining industry. The manufactured goods exported by the mining industry were generally semi-processed materials (e.g. alumina).
TABLE F4: EXPORTS OF GOODS, INDUSTRY OF EXPORTER BY COMMODITY INDUSTRY OF ORIGIN -- 2002-03
Size of Business
Two different size measures are used for goods exporters in this article. They are the value of exports (see Table F1) and size of the business (Table F5). Traditionally, the ABS has only used employment to determine the size of a business, because this has been the only sizing variable generally available. Many significant exporters were found not to have large employment.
For the purpose of this analysis, the size of a business has been defined in terms of three variables - employment, estimated annual turnover (both derived from Australian Taxation Office information) and value of exports (from Customs):
The 13,676 medium sized exporters accounted for $9.8b (9%) of goods exports. They were most prevalent in the manufacturing and wholesale trade industries, accounting for over half of the exporters in each. Over 40% (12,362) of Australia's goods exporters were small businesses. They contributed $1.1b (1%) to Australia's total goods exports.
TABLE F5: EXPORTS OF GOODS, SIZE OF BUSINESS BY INDUSTRY OF EXPORTER -- 2002-03
Two different concepts are used to measure the number of goods exporters by state in this article. In the 2001-02 analysis, estimates were provided of the number of businesses that exported goods that were produced in a given state i.e. the state of origin of the goods. In this article estimates are also provided of the number of businesses that exported goods that were produced in a given state and had a business location in that state i.e. the state of location of the business. Both sets of estimates are shown in Table F6.
As a number of businesses source exports from more than one state of origin, and may have more than one state of location, the state figures sum to more than the Australian totals i.e. the Australian figures count businesses with more than one state of origin or state of location once only.
The state of location estimates possibly understate the number of exporters with operations in some states. They have been derived using four variables - postcode of the ABN, multi-state location indicator, industry (all from the ATO business registers) and value of exports (from Customs). An exporter has been defined as having locations in the state of origin if:
These weaknesses in the data sources are expected to impact more on the state of location estimates for the smaller states than the larger states, where many head offices of multi-state businesses are located. Some businesses also have difficulty in identifying the state of production of some of their exports. This may disproportionately impact on the estimates for the smaller states.
The larger states had the highest proportion of exporters with locations in the state of origin. Over 70% of businesses with exports originating from New South Wales, Victoria, Queensland and Western Australia were identified as having business locations in those states. Less than 50% of businesses with exports originating from Tasmania or the Northern Territory were identified as having business locations in those states. Most exporters with no locations identified in the state of origin of the goods were wholesalers.
From each state of origin, over 90% of the value of goods exports was by businesses with locations in the state of origin.
TABLE F6: EXPORTS OF GOODS, STATE ESTIMATES -- 2002-03
TABLE F7: EXPORTS OF GOODS, INDUSTRY OF EXPORTER BY STATE OF ORIGIN OF COMMODITY -- 2002-03
Goods exporters and importers
Table F8 shows that of the 29,876 businesses with goods exports worth $10,000 or more during 2002-03, 14,046 (47%) also imported goods valued at $10,000 or more. Of the 4,353 businesses with goods exports of $1m or more, over 40% (1,778) also imported goods valued at $1m or more in 2002-03. Businesses with exports valued between $10,000 and $100,000 were the least likely to have also imported goods. 6,262 (39%) of these imported goods worth $10,000 or more in 2002-03.
TABLE F8: GOODS EXPORTERS AND IMPORTERS -- 2002-03
Value of exports
As outlined in the Introduction, businesses providing insurance, financial, government or travel services are not included in the estimates of number of service exporters, unless they are in scope of the Survey of International Trade in Services for other reasons. As shown in Table F1, businesses exporting services were dominated by a small number of exporters, with just 20 businesses accounting for 22% of Australia's total service exports in 2002-03.
31% of service exporters had exports worth between $1m and $100m, accounting for 21% ($6.8b) of total service exports. More than two-thirds (1,574) of businesses had service exports worth less than $1m. These accounted for $577m (2%) of services exports with average exports of $366,600 per business.
The service types with the highest numbers of exporters in 2002-03 were Other business services (1,837), Royalties and licence fees (1,240) and Computer and information services (1,052), as shown in Table F9. Transportation services had the highest value of exports per business, averaging $84m per exporter in 2002-03.
TABLE F9: EXPORTS OF SERVICES, TYPE OF SERVICE -- 2002-03
As shown in Table F10, the industries with the largest number of service exporters included in the overall estimate in 2002-03 were the property and business services industries (872 service exporters) and manufacturing industry (428 service exporters). Service exporters in both these industries averaged between $2m and $3m of service exports per business. The businesses with the highest average value of service exports were the transport and storage ($57m) and communication services ($22m) industries.
TABLE F10: EXPORTS OF SERVICES, INDUSTRY OF EXPORTER -- 2002-03
SYMBOLS AND OTHER USAGE
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