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1367.5 - Western Australian Statistical Indicators, Mar 2009  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 23/04/2009   
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SECTION 7 INTERNATIONAL MERCHANDISE TRADE



  • Western Australia's trade surplus in the December quarter 2008 (more than $14b) was 45% higher than the surplus in the same quarter of the previous year (less than $10b).

VALUE OF WESTERN AUSTRALIA'S TRADE SURPLUS, Change from same quarter previous year
Graph: VALUE OF WESTERN AUSTRALIA'S TRADE SURPLUS, Change from same quarter previous year



Exports
  • The value of exports was 47% higher in the December 2008 quarter than in the December 2007 quarter, up from $16 billion to almost $24 billion.
  • China and Japan continued to be the major export destinations, each receiving goods to the value of more than $6 billion. However, in the case of China, there was a decrease of $437 million from the September quarter 2008. The value of exports to Japan increased through the year to being almost double the value of exports in December 2007.

18 INTERNATIONAL MERCHANDISE TRADE(a), Exports - Top 10 countries: Original

EXPORTS
December quarter 2007
September quarter 2008
December quarter 2008
Country
$'000
$'000
$'000

China
4 117 879
6 481 841
6 045 015
Japan
3 120 717
4 881 908
6 021 476
Korea, Republic of
1 552 543
2 122 141
2 148 533
United Kingdom
1 799 678
1 464 705
1 691 146
India
792 978
1 625 567
1 372 865
United Arab Emirates
208 184
825 941
780 217
Singapore
507 165
724 346
703 183
Thailand
361 115
809 455
631 353
United States of America
543 542
664 834
603 379
Taiwan
235 233
442 529
539 499
Total Export(b)
16 126 050
22 887 121
23 743 393

(a) Free on board (f.o.b.) value.
(b) Includes countries not listed.
Source: ABS data available on request, International Trade in Goods and Services, Australia, cat. no. 5368.0.
  • As in the previous quarter, the two leading export commodities in the December 2008 quarter were Iron ore and concentrates; and non-monetary gold, with export values of $8.9 billion and $4 billion respectively.
  • Although declining slightly since the September quarter, the value of Iron ore exports for the December 2008 quarter was more than double the figure for the same quarter of the previous year.
  • Over this 12 month period, the export values of gold and natural gas both rose substantially while the export values of Nickel and Base metal ores both fell by more than 50%.

19 INTERNATIONAL MERCHANDISE TRADE(a), By major commodity: Original

2007
2008
December
September
December
Category of the SITC
$'000
$'000
$'000

MAJOR EXPORT COMMODITIES(b)

Iron ore and concentrates
4 395 215
9 436 358
8 982 022
Gold, non-monetary
2 837 507
3 954 843
4 020 785
Natural gas
1 180 347
1 721 854
2 688 677
Confidential items
2 281 368
1 586 108
2 249 564
Crude petroleum oils
2 255 066
2 938 254
2 048 321
Wheat
307 711
594 452
673 128
Nickel ores and concentrates
180 324
274 706
310 870
Liquefied propane and butane
235 334
207 952
216 229
Live animals
103 946
119 622
145 344
Refined petroleum oils
176 022
115 078
127 108
Ores and concentrates of base metal
299 515
151 307
110 218
Nickel
231 163
175 572
100 344
Pigments, paints, varnishes and related materials
94 163
72 262
94 679
Wool and other animal hair
77 323
47 707
70 192
Crustaceans, molluscs and aquatic invertebrates
45 201
46 513
65 302
Total exports(c)
16 126 050
22 887 121
23 743 393

(a) Care should be taken when comparing with commodities data prior to July 2005. For full details about changes to international trade statistics, users should refer to the Information Paper: Impact of introducing Revision 4 of the Standard International Trade Classification, 2008 (cat.no. 5368.0.55.10).
(b) Free on board (f.o.b.) value.
(c) Includes categories not listed.
Source: ABS data available on request, International Trade in Goods and Services, Australia, cat. no. 5368.0.



Imports
  • Compared to import values in the same quarter of the previous year, the import values in December quarter 2008 were higher by just over $3 billion (slightly more than 50%).
  • The United Kingdom (U.K.) was the foremost supplier of commodities imported in the December quarter 2008. There was a very large increase (over 1000%) in the value of imports from the UK compared to December quarter 2007. This was primarily due to a return to the historically higher level of non-monetary gold imports following a temporary slump in the last quarter of 2007.
  • Of the $1.6 billion of imports from the U.K. in the December quarter, approximately $1.3 billion were non-monetary gold (excluding ores and concentrates), comprising leaf, foil, bullion and fabricated gold, including granules. Gold in these forms is imported to Western Australia where it is processed before exportation under a different commodity classification.
  • Singapore and the United States of America ranked as the second and third highest countries supplying commodities to Western Australia, with both showing substantial increases in the value of imports in December quarter 2008 compared to December quarter 2007.

20 INTERNATIONAL MERCHANDISE TRADE(a), Imports - Top 10 countries: Original

IMPORTS
December quarter 2007
September quarter 2008
December quarter 2008
Country
$'000
$'000
$'000

United Kingdom
144 166
1 182 772
1 640 280
Singapore
651 643
964 759
1 514 047
United States of America
553 532
872 743
1 103 974
Thailand
432 119
776 543
725 386
China
550 494
543 789
723 845
Japan
961 037
544 414
661 983
Germany
289 245
314 059
327 043
Indonesia
210 547
431 021
271 198
United Arab Emirates
435 622
581 847
259 684
Malaysia
220 432
347 113
249 493
Total all countries(b)
6 229 979
8 609 336
9 359 480

(a) Customs value.
(b) Includes countries not listed.
Source: ABS data available on request, International Trade in Goods and Services, Australia, cat. no. 5368.0.
  • The major commodities driving the increase in the value of imports in the December quarter 2008 were (non-monetary) gold products and refined petroleum oils, both of which were approximately double the value of imports in the corresponding quarter of the previous year.
  • Over the 12 month period, there was a fourfold increase in the value of Fertiliser imports. This was largely the result of the Varanus Island gas explosion in June 2008, which had a major impact on fertiliser production in Western Australia.

21 INTERNATIONAL MERCHANDISE TRADE(a), By major commodity: Original

2007
2008
December
September
December
Category of the SITC
$'000
$'000
$'000

MAJOR IMPORT COMMODITIES(b)

Gold, non-monetary
1 371 968
2 271 258
2 504 780
Refined petroleum oils
477 751
804 128
1 095 407
Crude petroleum oils
630 552
1 146 329
433 632
Confidential items
211 695
307 110
407 615
Passenger motor vehicles
413 905
392 695
360 768
Civil engineering plant and equipment
282 256
261 205
323 606
Motor vehicles for the transport of goods
257 971
318 182
296 096
Fertilisers
93 563
210 783
284 307
Iron or steel tubes and pipes
79 237
102 494
155 352
Other specialised industry machinery and equipment
97 582
104 598
126 154
Rubber tyres
83 493
87 348
105 170
Automatic data processing machines
42 110
41 097
55 299
Ships, boats and floating structures
40 736
25 975
47 462
Aircraft and associated equipment
55 690
138 687
43 290
Parts and accessories of office machines
6 305
6 122
9 254
Total imports(c)
6 229 979
8 609 336
9 359 480

(a) Care should be taken when comparing with commodities data prior to July 2005. For full details about changes to international trade statistics, users should refer to the Information Paper: Impact of introducing Revision 4 of the Standard International Trade Classification, 2008 (cat.no. 5368.0.55.10).
(b) Customs value
(c) Includes categories not listed.
Source: ABS data available on request, International Trade in Goods and Services, Australia, cat. no. 5368.0.



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