5422.0 - International Merchandise Trade, Australia, Mar 1999  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 24/05/1999   
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May 24, 1999
Embargoed 11:30am (AEST)

Japan's significance as a number one trading partner declines

Japan's position as Australia's most important merchandise trading partner has declined in significance over the past 10 years, according to a report released today by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

The report, contained in International Merchandise Trade, Australia shows that while Australia's total merchandise exports increased by 89% over the period, our exports to Japan increased by only 40%. Similarly, while our total merchandise imports increased by 87%, our imports from Japan increased by only 27%.

From Japan's perspective Australia is significantly less important as a trading partner for both merchandise exports and merchandise imports. In the year ending June 1998, Australia was the destination for only 2% of Japan's exports and the source of 4% of Japan's imports, down from 3% and 5% respectively for 1989.

Changes in merchandise trade flows between Australia and Japan are analysed in the report in terms of the various commodities exported and imported.

International Merchandise Trade, Australia also includes a second report on measuring exports by region of origin within Australia.

Export statistics are compiled from information reported by exporters or their agents to the Australian Customs Service. The report concludes that information reported on export entries is not sufficient to determine the region of origin of exported goods. Further work on estimating regional exports has been carried out in the Queensland and South Australian offices of the ABS using data from sources other than Customs.

The publication, International Merchandise Trade, Australia (cat. no. 5422.0) which also includes statistics of Australia's merchandise trade for the March quarter of 1999, is available from ABS bookshops in all capital cities.Other articles related to these topics are available on this site.