Australian Bureau of Statistics
4156.0.55.001 - Perspectives on Sport, Jan 2011
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 21/01/2011
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AUSTRALIA OUTPLAYED IN SPORTING GOODS TRADE ARENA
Imports of selected sports and physical recreation goods, By country of origin - 2002-03 and 2008-09
The United States of America (USA) is famous for 'exporting' space shuttles into outer space, however, they also do a great job of launching sports and physical recreation goods into Australia. In 2008-09 the value of sports and physical recreation goods imported from the USA was $366.8m, making it the second most common source of Australia's imported sports and physical recreation goods. In the past few years, the value of imported goods from the USA increased by 40%, from $261.6m in 2002-03 to $366.8m in 2008-09. A breakdown of the imports from the USA shows that 43% ($156.1m) of the total value was in boats, yachts and other vessels for pleasure or sports; 12% ($43.9m) was in spark-ignition marine outboard motors; 8.3% ($30.4m) in general physical exercise, gymnasium or athletics articles and equipment and 5.6% ($20.6m) in golf clubs.
Imports of selected sports and physical recreation goods, From United States of America and United Kingdom - 2008-09
Australia and the United Kingdom (UK) have a long history of trade - between 1788 and 1868 the English transported over 160,000 convicts to Australia (Endnote 2). Today, Australia has stopped importing convicts, and in 2008-09, imported $92.1m worth of sports and physical recreation goods from the UK instead. Of these imports, 75% ($68.7m) were boats, yachts and other vessels for pleasure or sports and 12% ($11.2m) were horses. The UK was the sixth largest source of imported sports and physical recreation goods behind Taiwan ($211.7m), Japan ($103.8m) and New Zealand ($97.0m).
Boats and yachts sail into first place
In 2002-03 boats, yachts and other vessels for pleasure or sports were third on the list of high-value imports into Australia (totalling $137.5m) after spark-ignition marine outboard motors ($174.5m) and sporting and/or physical recreation footwear ($187.1m). In the following financial year, boats, yachts and other vessels for pleasure or sports ($223.1m) climbed to first on the list, with the total value of imports increasing to $223.1m in 2003-04. Boats, yachts and other vessels for pleasure or sports has continued to feature on top of the list in subsequent years, with the total value of imports being $447.9m in 2008-09. While not as valuable, or prestigious, as boats, yachts and other vessels for pleasure or sport, spark-ignition marine outboard motors still featured in the top five imported sports and physical recreation products in 2008-09 with a total value of $137.6m.
Walk, run or ride?
Despite growing concerns about the physical activity levels and health of Australians, in 2008-09 the value of gymnasium or athletics articles and equipment imported into Australia was $247.4m and the value of imported sports or physical recreation footwear was $161.4m. This is surely an indication that we're not totally averse to a trip to the fitness centre or a run around the oval.
Cycling is also a popular pastime with just over one million (1.14m) or 6.5% of Australians (aged 15 years and over) participating in cycling in 2009-10 (Endnote 1). It is not surprising then, that the value of imported bicycles and other cycles, not motorised, into Australia in 2008-09 was $239.9m.
Selling ice to the Eskimos
If you wanted to export sheep to New Zealand you should reconsider your business plan unless it was written by someone who's sold ice to the Eskimos. A better option would be to export sports and physical recreation goods to them.
Between 2002-03 to 2008-09, New Zealand has been the major destination for sports and physical recreation goods exported from Australia. In 2008-09, the value of sports and physical recreation products exported to New Zealand was $108.9m. The USA received the second highest value of sports and physical recreation goods from Australia ($63.1m).
Of all the sports and physical recreation products exported to New Zealand, 32% ($35.4m) were horses; 30% ($33.5m) were boats, yachts and other vessels for pleasure or sports, and 7.2% ($7.9m) were articles and equipment for sports or outdoor games and swimming pools and paddling pools. Spark-ignition outboard motors accounted for 3.7% ($4.0m) of exports.
Exports of selected sports and physical recreation goods, To New Zealand and United States of America - 2008-09
You can bet on Australia's iconic horses
A breakdown of sports and physical recreation exports to the USA shows that 66% ($41.9m) were boats, yachts and other vessels for pleasure or sports, and 19% ($12.9m) were horses.
Exports to New Zealand increased from $98.5m in 2007-08 to $108.9m in 2008-09 indicating that we must be doing something to keep our Kiwi friends keen on what we have to offer.
The world is our oyster
The value of exports of Australian sports and physical recreation goods to Hong Kong was the third highest in 2008-09 ($49.1m) which was an increase of 54% since 2007-08 ($31.9m). The remaining countries in the top five destinations for Australian sports and physical goods in 2008-09 were Italy ($24.2m) and Singapore ($20.1m).
Although the value of exports of Australian sports and physical recreation goods to New Zealand and Hong Kong increased, exports to the USA decreased from $111.6m in 2007-08 to $63.1m in 2008-09. Decreases were also reported in the value of exports to Singapore, down by 68% from $62.6m in 2007-08 to $20.1m in 2008-09, and the value of exports to Italy, down from $29.4m in 2007-08 to $24.2m in 2008-09.
Come on Aussie, come on!
Whether Australia is importing general physical exercise, gymnasium or athletics articles and equipment from China ($158.8m); boats, yachts and other vessels for pleasure or sports from the USA ($156.1m); or exporting horses to New Zealand ($35.4m), one thing for sure is that Australia is being outplayed in the sports and physical recreation goods trade arena.
With China and the USA being the giants of sports goods trade, they easily dominate negotiations, much like your big brother at the kitchen table. In 2008-09, imports of sports and physical recreation goods into Australia were valued at $2,055.5m. This was over four times the value of sports and physical recreation goods that were exported during that year ($463.1m).
While Australia may be behind in its trading however, it definitely doesn't lack sporting prowess or spirit. Come on Aussie, come on!
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1. Australian Bureau of Statistics 2010, Participation in Sports and Physical Recreation, Australia, 2009-10, (cat. no. 4177.0), ABS, Canberra.
2. Australia in brief: Ancient history, modern society <http://www.dfat.gov.au/aib/history.html> Accessed on 27th October 2010.
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This page last updated 24 June 2011