5368.0.55.006 - Number and Characteristics of Australian Exporters, 2006-07  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 13/11/2007   
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Key Figures

2005-06 to 2006-07 % change

Number of Exporters (No.)
Total goods exporters
40 849
42 645
Total services exporters
2 513
2 638
Total exporters(a)
42 194
44 310
Value of Exports ($m)
Total goods exporters
152 492
168 139
Total services exporters
41 849
46 245
Total value of exports
194 341
214 384

(a) Total exporters only counts once those businesses which export both goods and services.

Total Number of Exporters
Graph: Total Number of Exporters

Key Points

  • The total number of exporters of goods and services in 2006-07 was 44,310, a 5% increase on 2005-06.
  • In 2006-07, less than 1% of goods exporters had aggregate exports of $100m or more, but these exporters contributed 79% by value to total goods exports.
  • 1% of services exporters had aggregate exports of $100m or more and contributed 21% by value to total services exports.
  • A large majority of exporters had aggregate exports of less than $1m. 90% of goods exporters had exports of less than $1m and contributed 2% to total goods exports. 63% of services exporters had exports of less than $1m and contributed 1% to total services exports.
  • 28% of all goods exporters were in the Wholesale trade industry.
  • 79% of mining commodities were exported by businesses in the Mining industry.
  • Only 9% of agriculture, forestry and fishing commodities were exported by businesses in the Agriculture, forestry and fishing industry in 2006-07.



This publication presents an analysis of the characteristics and international trading activities of Australian exporters in 2006-07. The information is compiled as a by-product of producing regular monthly and quarterly statistics on Australia's merchandise trade and international trade in services. The first table presents an overview covering exporters of both goods and services. Tables 2 to 9 present more detailed information on goods exporters and table 10 presents additional information on services exporters.

The Explanatory Notes provide important information relating to the methodology used and the limitations in the resulting data. In particular, it is important to note that a business that considers itself part of an export market may not necessarily be included as an exporter in this article. For example, many agricultural products are exported by wholesalers rather than the producers of the good. If the wholesaler owns the goods at the time of export, the wholesaler is included as the exporter.


Business characteristics obtained from the Australian Business Register (ABR), such as business location, industry and number of employees are used in the compilation of this publication. These characteristics have been updated from the ABR for exporters in 2006-07 but characteristics have not been revised for exporters in 2005-06. As a result, characteristics for the same business may differ between the two years. For example, the size category allocated to an exporting business may have changed due to an increase or decrease in the business' annual GST turnover.

The value of exports for 2005-06 in tables 1, 3 and 10 and spreadsheets 12 to 14 (available from the Details tab of this publication) include revised merchandise trade and services data.

Table 6 presents information on the state of origin of exported commodities (obtained from Customs declarations) and the state of location(s) of the exporter (obtained from the ABR). The table has been modified from the previous issue to show if the main location of the exporter is in the same state as the origin of the exported goods; the main location of the exporter is not the same as the state of origin of the exported goods but the exporter has a location in that state; or, the exporter does not have a location in the state of origin of the exported goods.


The ABS is developing a business longitudinal database which should provide a better basis for analysing information about the characteristics of businesses including exporters. Due to the caveats applied to this publication, the ABS plans to undertake a review to determine the best strategy for providing information on exporters and their characteristics. The results of this review should be announced in mid to late 2008.

Subject to the above review, it is planned to release the next Number and Characteristics of Australian Exporters, 2007-08 (cat.no.5368.0.55.006) in March 2009. This will ensure final merchandise trade data for 2007-08 are incorporated and will provide time to implement any changes resulting from the review.


For further information about these and related statistics, contact Jennifer Humphrys on Canberra (02) 6252 5409.