5439.0 - International Merchandise Imports, Australia, Jun 2008  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 17/07/2008   
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April 2008
May 2008
June 2008

Food and live animals
Beverages and tobacco
Crude materials, inedible, except fuels
Mineral fuels, lubricants and related materials
2 835
3 265
2 913
Animal and vegetable oils, fats and waxes
Chemicals and related products, nes
2 080
1 979
1 829
Manufactured goods classified chiefly by material
1 831
1 902
1 881
Machinery and transport equipment
6 971
7 107
7 349
Miscellaneous manufactured articles
2 025
2 049
1 976
Commodities and transactions not classified elsewhere in the SITC
17 498
18 191
17 527


  • In original terms, the June 2008 merchandise imports were $17,527m, a decrease of $664m (4%) on the revised May 2008 merchandise imports of $18,191m.

  • Preliminary analysis shows that goods imports (debits) on a balance of payments basis decreased by $292m (2%) in seasonally adjusted terms between May and June 2008. Intermediate and other merchandise goods fell $398m (5%) with fuels and lubricants down $341m (11%). Consumption goods fell $102m (2%) with non-industrial transport equipment down $185m (12%). Capital goods rose $283m (7%) with civil aircraft up $291m.



ISSUE Release Date
July 2008 19 August 2008
August 2008 17 September 2008
September 2008 20 October 2008
October 2008 18 November 2008
November 2008 17 December 2008
December 2008 19 January 2009


This publication presents statistics of Australia's merchandise imports classified according to the broadest level (1 digit sections) of the United Nations Standard International Trade Classification. The data are compiled from information submitted by importers or their agents to the Australian Customs Service. For more details see International Merchandise Trade, Australia: Concepts, Sources and Methods (cat. no. 5489.0) on the ABS web site. More detailed merchandise imports data are available on the ABS web site www.abs.gov.au from the Downloads tab of this issue or by contacting the National Information and Referral Service.


From the July 2008 reference month, there will be major changes to the product classification of statistics presented in this publication and related time series spreadsheets and data cubes. The changes result from replacing Standard International Trade Classification Revision 3 (SITC Rev 3) with Standard International Trade Classification Revision 4 (SITC Rev 4) and updating the correspondences used to compile statistics on a Balance of Payments Broad Economic Category (BoPBEC) basis. In addition, correspondences used to compile the related Broad Economic Category (BEC) statistics have been updated. Statistics presented according to the updated correspondences are called BoPBEC Revision 1 and BEC 2007, respectively.

The changes to be made to statistics presented on a SITC, BoPBEC and BEC basis include:
  • all data from July 2005 will be presented according to SITC Rev 4, BoPBEC Rev 1 and BEC 2007
  • all data prior to July 2005 will be presented according to SITC Rev 3, BoPBEC and BEC
  • therefore, a break in each of the series will occur between June 2005 and July 2005
  • time series spreadsheet table 3 (543903.xls) will present all SITC 3-digit items instead of the selected 2-digit and 3-digit items currently shown
  • SITC Rev 4 free standing descriptors will be used to present data for all periods and care should be taken when using free standing descriptors to interpret data prior to July 2005
  • time series spreadsheets and data cubes will be modified to accommodate labels for SITC Rev 4 and, in some cases, titles and data item descriptions will be modified to improve consistency
  • an error in the concordance between two petroleum tariff item statistical codes and related classifications was previously corrected back to July 2006. From the July 2008 issue, this correction will be extended back to July 2005 for:
      • SITC Rev 4 item 33460 - Petroleum oils and oils obtained from bituminous minerals (other than crude) and preparations n.e.s., containing by weight 70 % or more of petroleum oils or of oils obtained from bituminous minerals, these oils being the basic constituents of the preparations, other than waste oils
      • BoPBEC Rev 1 item OK02 - motor spirit and item OK03 - other petroleum
      • BEC 2007 item 321 - Processed motor spirit and item 322 - Processed fuels and lubricants (excl. motor spirits).

Data that will be made available on request on a consultancy basis from ABS client services will include:
  • SITC Rev 3 basis for 2005-06 and 2006-07 (with SITC Rev 3 for earlier periods available from the relevant time series spreadsheets)
  • BEC basis for all periods prior to July 2007
  • BEC 2007 basis for periods from July 2005.

For details about the introduction of SITC Rev 4 and BoPBEC Rev 1, and the impact on related classifications, refer to the Information Paper: Impact of introducing Revision 4 of the Standard International Trade Classification, 2008 (cat. no. 5368.0.55.010).

Note: a revision was made to this information paper on 14 July in relation to a correspondence between Customs Tariff 2710116925 and BEC 321. This has impacted on the data in Table 2.4 BEC Changes to Merchandise Trade Imports 2005-06.


For further information about these and related statistics, contact the National Information and Referral Service on 1300 135 070 or Selvi Sekhar on Canberra (02) 6252 5540.