International merchandise trade exports data presented in this publication are based on information reported by exporters to the Department of Home Affairs (Home Affairs). At the time of initial reporting to Home Affairs, the final prices at which transactions take place are not known for some commodities. Final quantity and/or unit price information is updated progressively in international merchandise trade data as exporters revise the information provided to Home Affairs.
For commodities such as iron ore and coal, newly negotiated contract prices are not fully reflected in data first reported to Home Affairs. When additional information on quantity and/or unit price for these commodities is available, the ABS may adjust the data to reflect actual transaction values.
Iron ore adjustments are applied on an international merchandise trade basis at the Australian Harmonized Export Commodity Classification (AHECC) level. Coal, coke and briquettes are adjusted on a balance of payments basis in current price, original terms. When actual final transaction prices become available estimates are replaced with these data.
In most instances, transfer of ownership occurs when goods cross the customs frontier. In certain circumstances the ownership of large value capital expenditure items can occur prior to the items crossing the customs frontier. The ABS may adjust the relevant balance of payments series to record the timing when transfer of ownership was affected.
Goods credits on an international merchandise trade basis
Iron ore (in original terms)
Goods credits on a balance of payments basis
- on a merchandise trade basis, adjustments have been applied to iron ore lump in February (-$10m), May (-$5m), June (+$75m), July (-$90m) and August (-$65m) 2019 respectively. Adjustments have been applied to iron ore fines in February (+$20m), April (-$10m), May (+$20m), June (+$145m), July (-$340m) and August (-$430m) 2019 respectively. When actual final transaction prices become available estimates are replaced with these data. For price and volume details, see the Selected commodities section.
Coal (in original terms)
Goods debits on a balance of payments basis
- on a balance of payments basis, adjustments have been applied to the coal, coke and briquettes component in April (+$5m), May (+$5m), July (+$90m) and August (-$90m) 2019 respectively. This adjustment takes into account additional information on the unit value of hard coking, semi-soft and thermal coal exports. All previous adjustments have been removed.
- In the international merchandise trade series, the unit value of coal, coke and briquettes fell 13.0% between June and July 2019 and rose 7.7% between July and August 2019.
- In the balance of payments series, the unit value of coal, coke and briquettes fell 11.6% between June and July 2019 and rose 4.3% between July and August 2019.
Capital expenditure (in original terms)
- capital goods n.e.s. includes an estimate of expenditure on capital goods that have changed ownership but have not yet crossed the customs frontier.