5489.0 - International Merchandise Trade, Australia, Concepts, Sources and Methods, 2001  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 30/05/2001   
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7.1 International merchandise trade statistics are used for a wide variety of purposes by a large number of clients.

7.2 Some of the purposes for which the statistics are used are:

  • formulation of trade and budgetary policies by Australian governments;
  • international trade negotiations with overseas governments;
  • evaluating trends in Australia's imports and exports;
  • monitoring price and volume changes for import and export commodities;
  • monitoring import penetration and assessing competition facing Australian industries;
  • monitoring Australian industry export performance, including assessing existing markets and developing new ones;
  • analysing Australia's share of overseas markets for particular commodities; and
  • analysing the significance of particular countries as sources of Australian imports.

7.3 Trade statistics are important inputs for other ABS statistical collections, such as the Balance of Payments, Australian National Accounts and Producer Price Indexes. They are extensively used by a range of Commonwealth and State Government Departments and Authorities e.g. Commonwealth Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT), Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics (ABARE).

7.4 A large number of private sector clients, including industry groups and individual businesses, regularly subscribe to releases of trade statistics, with several acting as secondary providers of the data. Data are also supplied to international organisations, such as the United Nations Statistics Division (UNSD), the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

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