5368.0.55.006 - Characteristics of Australian Exporters, 2007-08  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 26/03/2009   
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Key Figures

2006-07 to 2007-08 % change

Number of Exporters (No.)
Total goods exporters
40 849
42 654
43 098
Total services exporters
2 513
2 867
2 927
Total exporters(a)
42 194
44 548
45 018
Value of Exports ($m)
Total goods exports
152 492
168 099
180 857
Total services exports
41 849
46 181
51 345
Total value of exports
194 341
214 280
232 202

(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 2007-08 was 45,018, a 1% increase on 2006-07.
  • In 2007-08, less than 1% of goods exporters had aggregate exports of $100m or more, but these exporters contributed 79% by value to total goods exports, the same proportion as the previous financial year.
  • 1% of services exporters had aggregate exports of $100m or more and contributed 22% 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 then $1m and contributed 2% to total goods exports. 67% of services exporters had exports 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 7% of Agriculture, forestry and fishing commodities were exported by businesses in the Agriculture, forestry and fishing industry in 2007-08.



This publication presents an analysis of the characteristics and international trading activities of Australian exporters in 2007-08. 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.


A review to determine the best strategy for providing information on the characteristics of exporters was announced in the previous issue of this publication. A limited review was conducted with input sought from the main known users. These users confirmed that the information presented in this publication is required for the administration and analysis of a range of government policies. As a result of this review no changes have been made in this issue. The future of this release will be reassessed once the ABS' business longitudinal database is available. This database will potentially provide a better basis for analysing information about the characteristics of exporting businesses.


The title of the publication has been changed from 'Number and characteristics of Australian exporters' to 'Characteristics of Australian exporters'.

As announced in the previous issue of this publication, the timing of this release was changed to allow the incorporation of final 2007-08 goods data. Final goods data for 2005-06 and 2006-07 have also been included, as has revised services data.

Business characteristics obtained from the Australian Business Register (ABR), such as business location, industry and number of employees are extracted about a month after each reference period. As a result, characteristics for the same business may differ between the financial years. For example, the size category to which an exporting business is allocated may have changed due to an increase or decrease in the business' annual GST turnover.


Industry data in this issue are based on Australian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification (ANZSIC) 1993. The next issue will be based on ANZSIC 2006 which will result in a revised classification of data from 2005-06. Details of the change will be advised in the next issue. For more information about ANZSIC 2006, see Information paper: Changes to International Trade in Goods Industry Statistics, July 2009 (cat. no. 5368.0.55.011).


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