Export Price Index

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    Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS)

    The index measures changes in the prices of all exports of merchandise from Australia, including re-exports (that is, goods which are imported into Australia and exported at a later date without physical alteration).

    The main purpose of the index is:

    • in the calculation of constant price National Accounts estimates ie to deflate current price estimates;
    • for economic analysis; and
    • for contract adjustment purposes ie as the basis for "rise" and "fall" contracts.

    The index measures changes in the prices of all exports of merchandise from Australia, including re-exports (that is, goods which are imported into Australia and exported at a later date without physical alteration).


    Conceptual framework
    The commodities represented in the index constitute approximately 95 per cent of the total value of exports recorded for 1998-99 and 1999-2000, taking into account the fact that many of the commodities carry not only their own weight but also the weight of unpriced commodities whose prices are considered to move in a similar manner.

    In general, prices are obtained from major exporters of the selected commodities included in the index. The prices used in the index are the prices at which the goods physically leave Australia, i.e., the prices are "free on board" (FOB) at main Australian ports of export.

    As the prices used in the index are expressed in Australian currency, changes in the relative value of the Australian dollar against overseas currencies (in particular the major trading currencies such as the US dollar, Japanese yen, Euro, pound sterling and German DM) can have a direct and significant impact on the price movements of the many commodities that are sold in terms of prices expressed in overseas currencies. Forward exchange cover is excluded from the prices used in the index.

    The prices collected and used in compiling the index relate to specified standards, grades, types, etc., of each commodity with the aim of incorporating in the index price changes for exports of representative goods of constant quality. Wherever possible, prices to specific major export markets are used for each of the goods priced, in order to lessen the impact of price variations attributable solely to changes in market destinations. In most cases, prices are combined using fixed weights between markets. Weights between markets are reviewed from time to time and revised where necessary.

    Main outputs
    The main outputs are presented in publication International Trade Price Index, Australia (ABS Cat No. 6457.0)

    The commodities included in the current index have been combined into broad index groups in three ways. Index numbers are produced for groupings defined in terms of the Sections (2 digit), Chapters (2 digit) and Headings (4 digit) of the Australian Harmonised Export Commodity Classification (AHECC), 1988 edition and updated to July 1990; Sections (1 digit) and Divisions (2 digit) of the Standard International Trade Classifications (SITC); on an industry of origin basis defined in terms of the Divisions (1 digit) and Subdivisions (2 digit) of the Australian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification (ANZSIC), 1993 edition; and according to of payments groupings.

    Other concepts (summary)
    All concepts have been noted in Conceptual Framework.


    Comments and/or Other Regions
    Data is collected from across Australia, there are no exclusions.


    Frequency comments
    Up to, and including, June 1997 collection was monthly. From that date collection is quarterly.

    An index of export prices has been published since 1901. The first index 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. An index on this basis was published for the years 1897 to 1929-30.
    An index of export prices was not published again until 1937 when two series were introduced. One index used fixed weights and the other changing weights. These indexes used actual export prices in place of unit values. These indexes were compiled until 1962.

    The next index was introduced in August 1962. This index was a fixed weights index with a reference base of 1959-60 = 100.0. This index was compiled until July 1969 when a new interim index, using weights based on 1969-70, was linked to this series. This index was published until June 1979 when it was replaced by the first series of the current Export Price Index.This first series was compiled on a reference base of 1974-75 =100.0 and a weighting pattern based on the value of exports for the three years to June 1997. The index was reviewed in 1990 and a new series, on a reference base of 1989-90 = 100.0 and weights based on 1988-89, was introduced.

    The Export Price Index, Australia, was reviewed again in 2000 with a new series (the current series) introduced from September quarter 2000 .The reference base remains 1989-90 = 100.0 with the weights based on Australian exports for 1998-99 and 1999-2000. This index will be annually re-weighted and chained (in the September quarter of each year).


    Data availability comments
    Data is available in publication Producer Price Indexes, Australia (ABS Cat. no. 6427.0), and available on the ABS web site <www.abs.gov.au>.

    27/02/2003 03:37 PM