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Feature Article - Trade Through Australia's Ports
TABLE F1: EXPORTS AND IMPORTS - Value
TABLE F2: EXPORTS AND IMPORTS - Gross weight
Port of Melbourne
In 2001-02, the Port of Melbourne handled 20% of Australia's trade by value, with exports of $18.8b and imports of $28.9b. Melbourne was Australia's biggest exporting port by value in each of the past four years and ranked second for imports. By weight, it was less significant, ranked 11th in 1998-99 rising to 6th in 2001-02. This was driven by a 73% increase in exports, which was partially offset by a 9% fall in imports.
The major exports from the Port of Melbourne were agricultural commodities, particularly dairy products, wool, beef, lamb and wheat. Over 80% of Australia's exports of dairy products were shipped from Melbourne ($2.8b in 2001-02), destined mainly for South-East Asia and Japan. Exports of passenger motor vehicles and parts were worth $2.1b, double the value of four years ago. There were 72,000 cars ($1.5b) shipped overseas in 2001-02, mostly to the Middle East and New Zealand.
In 2001-02, one fifth of imports to the Port of Melbourne were road vehicles and parts ($5.1b), up from $4.3b in 1998-99. Passenger motor vehicles (144,000 cars valued at $2.8b) and motor vehicle parts ($1.4b) were the largest components in 2001-02, sourced largely from Japan, Germany and USA.
By weight, crude petroleum was the largest import in 2001-02, amounting to 1.2m tonnes (or 1.4b litres) valued at $401m. This was followed by paper and paperboard products at 457,000 tonnes, valued at $742m. Both commodities had lower volumes of imports in 2001-02 than 1998-99, with paper and paperboard products down 11% and crude petroleum down 56%.
Port of Sydney
By value, the Port of Sydney was the second largest Australian port, accounting for $38.2b (16%) of Australia's total trade in 2001-02. It ranked second by value of exports and first by value of imports. By weight, it ranked 8th, with over 14m tonnes shipped, of which 10m tonnes were imports and 4m tonnes were exports.
The most important exports by value were aluminium, wool, beef, and cotton. In 2001-02, they accounted for 29% ($2.4b) of exports from this port. Aluminium, cotton and refined petroleum were the largest exports by weight.
Strong growth was recorded in exports of wine in the period studied. The value and volume of exports of alcoholic beverages, mainly wine, more than doubled from 1998-99 to reach $357m and 58m litres in 2001-02.
The value of imports to the Port of Sydney increased by 21% over the past three years, reaching $30.1b in 2001-02, or 25% of Australia's total merchandise imports.
Passenger motor vehicles were the largest import by value, worth $3.1b in 2001-02, an increase of 37% since 1998-99. 150,000 vehicles were imported through the port in 2001-02, up from 133,600 in 1998-99. Computers and parts were the next largest import ($1.7b in 2001-02), followed by crude petroleum ($1.2b), which has risen by 150% invalue since 1998-99.
Crude petroleum (3.6m tonnes or 4.3b litres) and refined petroleum (987,000 tonnes or 1.1b litres) were the largest imports by weight. Together these accounted for 45% of imports by weight in 2001-02. Paper and paperboard products were the next largest import at 520,000 tonnes in 2001-02.
Port of Brisbane
By value, Brisbane has been the third largest seaport in Australia for each of the past four years for both exports and imports. Its total trade in 2001-02 was $18.3b, comprising $7.8b of exports and $10.5b of imports. This represented a 42% increase since 1998-99. Over the same period total trade by weight increased 16% to 18.6m tonnes.
Food products contributed almost half the value of exports from the Port of Brisbane over this period. In 2001-02, these were valued at $3.6b. Beef was the major export, accounting for $2.2b (28%) of exports. The next largest were cotton, at $752m (10%), and lamb, at $309m (4%).
By weight, coal was the largest export by a substantial margin, accounting for 3.1m tonnes (30%) of exports in 2001-02. The volume of coal exports was 35% higher than the previous year, after being relatively stable over the three previous years. Refined petroleum, at 682,000 tonnes or 766m litres, and wheat, at 622,000 tonnes, were the next largest exports.
In 2001-02, imports to the Port of Brisbane accounted for $10.5b (9%) of the value of Australia's imports, up from $7.6b in 1998-99. The gross weight of imports peaked at 9.1m tonnes in 1999-00, dropping to 8.4m tonnes in 2001-02. This was 14% of Australia's total imports by weight.
Crude petroleum was one of the two largest imports by value in each of the past four years ($1.7b in 2001-02) and the largest import by weight (5.2m tonnes or 6.4b litres in 2001-02). It accounted for 62% of the gross weight and 16% of the value of imports in 2001-02. Passenger and goods motor vehicles were the other large contributors, together valued at $2.6b (25% of total) in 2001-02, up from $2.0b in 1998-99. Three quarters of these imports were cars.
Mascot Airport was the largest airport, and the third largest port overall, by value, during each of the years included in this analysis. In 2001-02, $8.1b (7%) of exports and $20.8b (17%) of imports were transported through Mascot Airport. It accounted for 50% or more of all trade by air over the past four years.
The major exports by value were machinery and transport equipment, which accounted for $3.0b (37%) of exports from Mascot Airport in 2001-02. The most important contributor to this category was computers and parts ($1.2b). Almost 80% of these were re-exports i.e. goods imported and then exported in the same condition or after undergoing minor alterations. Medicinal and pharmaceutical products totalled $1.3b, of which $308m were re-exports.
The major imports by value in 2001-02 were computers and parts ($4.3b), medicinal and pharmaceutical products ($3.1b) and telecommunications equipment ($2.7b).
Major imports to the seaports of other Australian capital cities tend to be similar to those examined for the seaports in the previous section i.e. motor vehicles, for both passengers and goods; crude petroleum; and other manufactured goods. Most of the regional seaports have relatively minor imports in comparison to their exports, unless they have, for example, an oil refinery or major manufacturing plant nearby.
New South Wales
Newcastle, Port Botany and Port Kembla were the major NSW seaports apart from the Port of Sydney. In 2001-02, exports from Newcastle were valued at $5.7b, of which 66% ($3.8b) was coal. By weight of exports, Newcastle was Australia's largest port, accounting for 14% of Australia's total exports. Coal and wheat were the major exports from Port Kembla, while from Port Botany they were aluminium and wool.
Apart from the Port of Melbourne, Geelong was Victoria's other major seaport, accounting for around 5% of Victorian exports by value in 2001-02. Major exports shipped were refined petroleum and wheat, valued at around $400m each.
Melbourne Airport was Australia's second largest airport, and fifth largest port, by value, in each of the past four years. A wide range of goods were exported and imported. Non-monetary gold was the major export, peaking at $2.3b in 1998-99 and worth $1.5b in 2001-02. Over one-third related to gold that was imported for processing and then re-exported.
With significant exports of minerals and agricultural goods, Queensland has several major exporting ports apart from the Port of Brisbane. In 2001-02, Hay Point ($5.3b), Gladstone ($4.2b) and Townsville ($2.9b) together accounted for 52% of Queensland exports. By weight, Hay Point (69m tonnes) and Gladstone (40m tonnes) were Queensland's largest ports, the major commodity shipped from each was coal.
In 2001-02, Fremantle ($4.5b), Kwinana ($2.8b), Port Hedland ($2.5b) and Bunbury ($2.5b) were Western Australia's major seaports. A range of commodities including wheat, nickel, pigments and paints, and live sheep, were the major exports from Fremantle. Wheat and nickel were some of the major exports from Kwinana, whilst Port Hedland ($2.1b) and Dampier ($2.3b) had substantial exports of iron ore.
Perth Airport was Australia's third largest airport by value, with exports exceeding $5b in each of the past four years. Non-monetary gold accounted for $4.0b (69%) of exports in 1998-99 and around half of exports in each of the three subsequent years.
Port Adelaide was the major South Australian port with $6.6b of trade in 2001-02. The value of exports increased markedly in the past three years (up 90% by value and 52% by weight), due partly to increased exports of motor vehicles and wine. Exports of passenger motor vehicles were worth $1.4b in 2001-02, up from $565m in 1998-99. Exports of alcoholic beverages, mainly wine, more than doubled in the same period from $404m to $873m. The most significant imports to Port Adelaide were passenger and goods motor vehicles, together valued at $323m in 2001-02.
Launceston and Hobart are Tasmania's major ports, together accounting for $1.5b of exports in 2001-02. The largest commodities exported by value were zinc from Hobart ($347m) and aluminium ($362m) from Launceston. Some of Tasmania's major exports are subject to confidentiality restrictions. It should be noted that some goods originating from Tasmania are exported from the Port of Melbourne.
TABLE F3: LEGEND
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