1367.5 - Western Australian Statistical Indicators, Sep 2000  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 19/10/2000   
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October 19, 2000
Embargoed: 11:30 AM (AEST)
New ABS publication confirms WA is Australia's top exporter

A new Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) scoresheet on Western Australia has highlighted its role as Australia's major exporting State, accounting for a quarter of national exports.

The quarterly publication Western Australian Statistical Indicators, launched today in Perth, says in a feature article that Western Australia's exports rose by 17 per cent in 1999-2000 and have risen significantly in two of the last three financial years.

The ABS Regional Director in Western Australia, Mr Colin Nagle, said that WA has been the leading exporting State since 1989-90. By contrast, WA's merchandise imports have averaged 8 per cent of the value of Australia's imports over this period.

"In 1998-1999, WA's exports comprised 35 per cent of gross state product," he said. "In the same year, Australia's exports were 19 per cent of gross domestic product."

Mr Nagle said commodity exports which increased significantly in value during the ten years to 1999-2000 included petroleum and petroleum products, non-monetary gold, and natural gas. Significant growth also occurred in exports of nickel, live animals, oil seeds (canola) and transport equipment excluding road vehicles. About 95 per cent of the latter comprised ships and boats, which increased in value from $62 million to $222 million.

Japan continued to be the State's major export partner with exports worth $6.58 billion in 1999-2000, or 26 per cent of export trade during that year, Mr Nagle said.

"However in the last 10 years there have been major changes in the patterns of Western Australia's exports," the Regional Director said. "There has been strong growth in exports to South East Asian and North Asian countries. The Republic of Korea has replaced the United States as the State's second largest export destination in dollar terms after an increase in exports to $2.318 billion - five times the 1989-1990 value, moving the US to third place with $2.287 billion.

"Korea, together with Singapore (which increased by a factor of four to $1.905 billion), China (increasing almost four times to $1.867 billion) and Taiwan (a five times increase to $1.351 billion) accounted for 29 per cent of the State's export market in 1999-2000, compared to 17 per cent 10 years ago."

The new quarterly ABS publication will track key economic developments in Western Australia, including State final demand, the Consumer Price Index, consumption, private new capital expenditure, business expectations, construction, finance, mineral exploration, tourism and the labour market.

Details are in Western Australian Statistical Indicators, September 2000 (cat. no.1367.5) available from ABS bookshops in capital cities. The summary of the publication may be found on this site. If you wish to purchase a copy of the publication, contact the ABS Bookshop in your capital city.