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1301.0 - Year Book Australia, 2003  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 24/01/2003   
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Contents >> Prices >> International trade price indexes

Import price index

The import price index measures changes in the prices of imports of merchandise landed in Australia using free-on-board prices in the country of origin. The index numbers for each quarter relate to prices of imports landed in Australia during the period.

The first import price index produced by the ABS covered the period from the September quarter 1981 to the June quarter 1991 on a reference base of 1981-82 = 100.0. This index replaced an index previously published by the Reserve Bank of Australia on a reference base of 1966-67 = 100.0. The Reserve Bank's import price index was published from 1928 until September 1982.

A new import price index series was introduced in December 1991 with monthly index numbers compiled from April 1991 until June 1997 when the index moved back to a quarterly cycle. The current index has a reference base of 1989-90 = 100.0 and was reviewed and reweighted in September quarter 2000 using 2000-01 international trade data. The plan is to update the index weights each year using the latest trade data.

To give a broad indication of changes over the whole of the last century, table 28.15 draws on the available international trade indexes. Import price index numbers based on the Standard International Trade Classification Revision 3 (SITC Rev. 3) are contained in table 30.34 of International accounts and trade.

Export price index

The export price index measures changes in prices of exports of merchandise from Australia. The index numbers for each period relate to prices of exports actually shipped during the period.

The first index of export prices was compiled annually from 1901 to 1916-17 as a current-weighted unit value index.

The method of calculation was changed in 1918 to incorporate fixed weights, applied to the average unit values of each export in successive years. This index was published for the years 1897 to 1929-30.

Two new series of monthly export price indexes were published in 1937, compiled back to 1928. One index used fixed weights and the other used changing weights. The methodology was changed and actual export prices were used instead of unit values. The indexes were compiled until 1962.

In 1962 a fixed weighted index on the reference base of 1959-60 = 100.0 was introduced. In July 1969 a new interim series was linked to this index, still with a reference base of 1959-60 = 100.0, but with updated weights. The interim index was replaced in 1979 by an index on a reference base of 1974-75. The current index, which was changed from a monthly to a quarterly basis after June 1997, has a reference base of 1989-90 = 100.0. It was reviewed and reweighted in September quarter 2001 using 1999-2000 and 2000-01 international trade data. The plan is to update the index weights each year using the latest trade data for the previous two years.

Index numbers based on the Standard International Trade Classification Revision 3 (SITC Rev. 3) are contained in table 30.33 of International accounts and trade. The export price index for all groups is provided for the whole of the last century in table 28.15.


28.15 INTERNATIONAL TRADE PRICE INDEXES(a)

Import price index
(All groups)
Export price index
(All groups)

1901
. .
15
1911
. .
17
1921-22
. .
25
1931-32
22
18
1936-37
21
29
1941-42
35
27
1946-47
51
53
1951-52
92
123
1956-57
91
115
1960-61
95
93
1961-62
94
94
1962-63
94
99
1963-64
96
112
1964-65
97
103
1965-66
99
105
1966-67
100
103
1967-68
99
98
1968-69
100
100
1969-70
103
101
1970-71
108
99
1971-72
114
102
1972-73
113
131
1973-74
131
157
1974-75
189
177
1975-76
214
193
1976-77
246
216
1977-78
278
227
1978-79
307
256
1979-80
403
309
1980-81
450
328
1981-82
458
332
1982-83
506
360
1983-84
524
369
1984-85
580
396
1985-86
659
417
1986-87
731
430
1987-88
742
469
1988-89
694
501
1989-90
729
527
1990-91
752
501
1991-92
749
472
1992-93
817
493
1993-94
843
484
1994-95
837
501
1995-96
838
508
1996-97
791
488
1997-98
841
522
1998-99
874
505
1999-2000
876
517
2000-01
979
606
2001-02
964
615

(a) Reference base year 1968-69 = 100.0.

Source: The sources used for the import price index are the 'Reserve Bank of Australia Bulletin' up to and including 1981-82, and 'Import Price Index, Australia' (6414.0) to 1999-2000. The source used for the export price index to 1999-2000 is 'Export Price Index, Australia' (6405.0). From 2000-01 the source used for both import and export price indexes is 'International Trade Price Indexes, Australia' (6457.0).


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