5331.0 - Balance of Payments and International Investment Position, Australia, Concepts, Sources and Methods, 1998  
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Contents >> Chapter 6. Current account - goods >> Commodity classification

6.18. Commodity breakdowns of general merchandise exports and imports are provided in all balance of payments publications. The underlying classification scheme, which is also used in international trade statistics, is the United Nations’ Standard International Trade Classification (SITC Rev3). (The third revision (Rev3) of the SITC (see United Nations Statistical Papers Series M, No. 34, Rev.3, New York 1986) was adopted in monthly ABS international merchandise trade statistics from January 1988. It was also adopted in balance of payments publications from late 1988, at which time estimates for a long run of earlier periods were recompiled on the new basis. For periods prior to 1988, this was done by mapping data classified on the previous basis to the closest items in the new classification.) The commodity breakdown for general merchandise goods credits (exports) shown in the balance of payments is given in table 6.6, together with the Section(s) or Division(s) of the SITC which comprise the groupings shown. General merchandise goods debits (imports) are broken down into three ‘end-use’ categories - consumption goods, capital goods and intermediate and other goods - in broad accordance with the United Nations’ Classification By Broad Economic Categories (BEC) (United Nations Statistical Papers Series M, No. 53, Rev.3, New York, 1989). The classification of imports is provided in table 6.7.


6.6
COMMODITY CLASSIFICATION OF EXPORTS (a)
CommoditySITC Rev3 Section or Division

Rural
Meat & meat preparations01
Cereal grains & cereal preparations04
Sugar, sugar preparations & honey06
Wool and sheepskins21*, 26*
Other rural00, 02, 03, 05, 07 to 09, 12, 21*, 22 to 25, 26*, 29, 4

Non-rural
Metal ores & minerals27, 28
Mineral fuels -
  • Coal, coke and briquettes
  • Other mineral fuels
  • 32
    33 to 35
    Metals (excl non-monetary gold)67, 68
    Machinery71 to 77
    Transport equipment78, 79
    Other manufactures5, 61 to 66, 69, 8
    Other non-rural11, 93*, 96, 98

    Other goods
    Goods for processing93*
    Repairs on goods99*
    Goods procured in ports by carriers (b) Ships stores
    Non-monetary gold95, 97

    Note: * part only

    (a)
    Rural exports are defined largely in terms of sections (1-digit level) or divisions (2-digit level) of the SITC; many individual items are classified differently from what might have been the case with a more detailed system. For example, canned fruit salad is included in rural while cotton yarn is not - both items might equally well have been classified to rural (on the basis of their origin), or to non-rural (due to the high proportion of value added during subsequent processing). The terms rural and non-rural are therefore used in a broad sense and the limitations mentioned above should be borne in mind when the estimates are used for analytical purposes.

    (b) Ships stores loaded onto foreign vessels and aircraft are identified in a wide range of SITC divisions.




    6.7
    COMMODITY CLASSIFICATION OF IMPORTS (a)
    Broad economic category
    End-use category and commodity group(BEC) codeSITC Rev.3 Section or Division

    Consumption goods
    Food and beverages, mainly for consumption112*, 122*01*, 02*, 03*, 04*, 05*, 06*, 07*, 09*, 11*, 42*
    Household electrical items41*, 61*, 62* 76*, 77*
    Non-industrial transport equipment51, 52271*, 78*, 79*
    Textiles, clothing and footwear61*, 62*, 63*65*, 84, 85
    Toys, books and leisure goods61*, 62*, 63*89*
    Consumption goods n.e.s.61*, 62*, 63*12*, 29*, 53*, 54*, 55*, 61*, 62*, 63*, 64*, 66*, 69*, 72*, 74*, 77*, 82*, 83, 87*, 88*, 89*
    Capital goods
    Machinery and industrial equipment41*71*, 72*, 73*, 74*, 77*
    ADP equipment41*75*
    Telecommunications equipment41*76*
    Civil aircraft521*79*
    Industrial transport equipment521*78*, 79*
    Capital goods n.e.s.41*00*, 69*, 75*, 76*, 79*, 81*, 87*, 88*, 89*

    Intermediate and other merchandise goods
    Food and beverages, mainly for industry111*, 121*00*, 01*, 02*, 03*, 04*, 05*, 06, 07*, 08*, 09*, 11*, 22*, 41*, 42*, 43*, 59*
    Primary industrial supplies n.e.s.2104*, 08*, 12*, 21, 22*, 23*, 24*, 25*, 26*, 27*, 28*, 29*, 43*, 63*, 66*, 68*, 79*, 97*
    Fuels and lubricants31*, 32*24*, 32*, 33*, 34*, 59*
    Parts for transport equipment53*62*, 69*, 71*, 77*, 78*, 79*, 82*, 88*
    Parts for ADP equipment42*75*
    Other parts for capital goods42*61*, 62*, 65*, 69*, 71*, 72*, 73*, 74*, 75*, 76*, 77*, 87*, 88*
    Organic and inorganic chemicals22*51*, 52*
    Paper and paperboard22*64*
    Textile yarn and fabric22*65*
    Iron and steel22*67
    Plastics22*57, 58
    Non-monetary gold 22*97*
    Processed industrial supplies n.e.s. 22*08*, 23*, 24*, 25*, 26*, 27*, 28*, 29*, 33*, 41*, 42*, 43*, 53*, 54*, 55*, 56, 59*, 61*, 62*, 63*, 66*, 68*, 69*, 72*, 74*, 77*, 81*, 82*, 88*, 89*, 97*
    Other merchandise goods7*79*, 89*, 93, 95, 96, 98

    Other goods
    Goods for processing (b)89*, 97*, 99*
    Repairs on goods99*
    Goods procured in ports by carriersSurvey source
    Non-monetary gold (b)22*97*

    Note: * part only

    (a) The BEC is described in United Nations Statistical Papers Series M, No 53, Rev 3. These end-use categories are further dissected into 26 SITC Rev 3 commodity groups. By concording SITC categories to particular BEC categories, the BEC attempts to classify merchandise trade statistics, for purposes of general economic analysis, according to the main end-use of the commodities traded. However, it does not achieve complete alignment with the particular end-use to which articles are put in specific circumstances; for example, some passenger motor cars, which are conventionally classified as consumption goods, and some parts and accessories of capital goods, which are conventionally classified as other goods, are in fact acquired as capital equipment. The 26 merchandise imports commodity groups have been designed so that they: result in meaningful groupings which have sufficient value to warrant separate identification; provide an appropriate spread across all end-use categories without any unduly large residual components; and provide detail for major import commodities. The 26 merchandise imports commodity groups are further sub-divided into 109 commodity sub-groups for more detailed analysis. Detail at this level is not published but is available as a special data service.

    (b) Goods for processing are identified in many commodities. The major reclassifications to goods for processing are applied to consumption goods n.e.s., processed industrial supplies n.e.s. and non-monetary gold.






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