International merchandise trade exports data presented in this publication are based on information reported by exporters to the Department of Home Affairs (Home Affairs). At the time of initial reporting to Home Affairs, the final prices at which transactions take place are not known for some commodities. Final quantity and/or unit price information is updated progressively in international merchandise trade data as exporters revise the information provided to Home Affairs.
For commodities such as iron ore and coal, newly negotiated contract prices are not fully reflected in data first reported to Home Affairs. When additional information on quantity and/or unit price for these commodities is available, the ABS may adjust the data to reflect actual transaction values.
Iron ore adjustments are applied on an international merchandise trade basis at the Australian Harmonized Export Commodity Classification (AHECC) level. Coal, coke and briquettes are adjusted on a balance of payments basis in current price, original terms. When actual final transaction prices become available estimates are replaced with these data.
In most instances, transfer of ownership occurs when goods cross the customs frontier. In certain circumstances the ownership of large value capital expenditure items can occur prior to the items crossing the customs frontier. The ABS may adjust the relevant balance of payments series to record the timing when transfer of ownership was affected.
Goods credits on an international merchandise trade basis
Iron ore (in original terms)
Goods credits on a balance of payments basis
- on a merchandise trade basis, adjustments have been applied to iron ore lump in May (-$5m), June (+$15m), July (-$30m), August (-$20m), September (+$275m) and October (+$235m) 2019 respectively. Adjustments have been applied to iron ore fines in April (+$20m), May (-$10m), June (+$40m), July (-$95m), August (-$300m), September (+$255m) and October (+520m) 2019 respectively. When actual final transaction prices become available estimates are replaced with these data. For price and volume details, see the Selected commodities section.
Coal (in original terms)
Goods debits on a balance of payments basis
- a negative adjustment of $265m has been applied to hard coking coal and semi-soft coal in the coal, coke and briquettes component in the balance of payments series for October 2019. This adjustment takes into account additional information on the unit value of hard coking, semi-soft and thermal coal exports. To maintain consistency with the September quarter 2019 issue of Balance of Payments and International Investment Position, Australia (cat. no. 5302.0) released on 3 December 2019 previous adjustments have remained for June (-$5m) and September (-$20m) 2019 respectively.
- In the international merchandise trade series, the unit value of coal, coke and briquettes fell 5.4% between August and September 2019 and fell 5.2% between September and October 2019.
- In the balance of payments series, the unit value of coal, coke and briquettes fell 4.1% between August and September 2019 and fell 11.1% between September and October 2019.
Capital expenditure (in original terms)
- capital goods n.e.s. includes an estimate of expenditure on capital goods that have changed ownership but have not yet crossed the customs frontier.