International Trade: Supplementary Information, Calendar Year methodology

This is not the latest release View the latest release
Reference period

Explanatory notes


1 This publication contains data on Australia's international trade in goods on an international merchandise trade basis and international trade in services on a balance of payments basis. Annual merchandise data for selected countries and annual services data by state and by country are released twice yearly. Calendar year data are usually released following the March issue of International Trade in Goods and Services, Australia (cat. no. 5368.0) and financial year data are usually released following the September issue.

2 Additional data on Australia’s international trade in goods and services are available in International Trade in Goods and Services, Australia (cat. no. 5368.0).

Concepts, sources and methods

3 The conceptual framework used in compiling Australia’s international merchandise trade statistics is set out in the United Nation’s publication International Merchandise Trade Statistics: Concepts and Definitions, Series M, No. 52, Rev. 3 (IMTS 2010). More detailed information relating to the underlying concepts and structure, and the sources, methods and terms used in compiling estimates are available in International Merchandise Trade, Australia: Concepts, Sources and Methods (cat. no. 5489.0).

4 The conceptual framework used in compiling Australia's balance of payments statistics is based on the Sixth Edition of the International Monetary Fund's Balance of Payments and International Investment Position Manual (BPM6, 2008). Descriptions of the underlying concepts and structure of the balance of payments and the sources, methods and terms used in compiling the estimates are presented in Balance of Payments and International Investment Position, Australia: Concepts, Sources and Methods, 2011 (cat. no. 5331.0). The first part of the revised document was released on 8 March 2011, featuring only the Goods Account. Other components, including the Services Account, will be released as they become available. The Information paper: Implementation of new international statistical standards in ABS National and International Accounts (cat. no. 5310.0.55.002) describes the key changes introduced with BPM6.

Accuracy, reliability and revisions

5 Care should be exercised in the use and interpretation of estimates in this publication. While every effort is made to ensure the accuracy and reliability of all estimates, the transactions occurring in international trade in goods and services are of many different kinds, and therefore the compilation of trade estimates entails the use of a very wide range of statistical data of varying degrees of accuracy and timeliness.

6 This publication includes historical revisions which are also included in the Australian System of National Accounts, 2017-18 (cat. no. 5204.0), released in October 2018 and the September 2018 issue of Balance of Payments and International Investment Position (cat. no. 5302.0) released in December 2018.

Sign convention

7 Merchandise export and import statistics presented in this publication are on an international merchandise trade basis, both export and import entries are shown without regard to sign.

8 International trade in services statistics are presented on a balance of payments basis. In keeping with balance of payments conventions, credit entries (exports) are shown without sign and debit items (imports) are shown as negative entries.

Goods by partner country

9 Partner country estimates are produced to provide a summary of Australia’s international merchandise trade with selected trading partners.

10 International merchandise trade data in this publication are presented in a six month aggregation. This aggregated basis allows for data that are subject to confidentiality restrictions to be released, provided there is sufficient trade to preserve confidentiality.

11 Additional information on Australia’s international merchandise exports and imports, by country, are presented as a monthly times series, with additional countries and country groups in tables 14a and 14b of International Trade in Goods and Services, Australia (cat. no. 5368.0). These tables differ from data presented in tables 1 and 2 of this publication as they are subject to an increased level of confidentiality restrictions. For more information on confidentiality see the Data Confidentiality section of International Merchandise Trade, Australia: Concepts, Sources and Methods (cat. no. 5489.0).

Services by partner country

12 Partner country estimates are produced to provide a summary of Australia's trade in services with major trading partners.

13 A comprehensive explanation of the data sources used and the methodology applied in the compilation of partner country statistics is provided in Chapter 17 of Balance of Payments and International Investment Position, Australia – Concepts, Sources and Methods, 1998 (cat. no. 5331.0).

Services by state

14 Services credits are classified by the state of provision, while services debits are classified by the state of consumption. The state allocations for transportation, travel, freight insurance and telecommunication services are based on a number of indicators including merchandise trade statistics by state, overseas passenger arrivals and departures by state of clearance and data provided by the Department of Home Affairs. The allocation for other services (about 25% of all trade in services) is primarily based on the location of the business reporting the information, which serves as a proxy for the state of provision/consumption of that service. The data should be used with care but are considered suitable for analysis over time.

Related products and publications

15 Users may also wish to refer to the following publications which can be downloaded free of charge from the ABS website:

16 Current publications and other products released by the ABS are available from the Statistics View. The ABS also issues a daily Release Advice on the website which details products to be released in the week ahead.


17 Where figures have been rounded, discrepancies may occur between sums of the component items and totals.

Country groups

Composition of country groups

18 In tables 5 to 8, data for some small countries are included with neighbouring countries as follows. Andorra and Monaco are included with France. The Holy See and San Marino are included with Italy and Liechtenstein is included with Switzerland. These small countries are also included in the EU and OECD, as appropriate.

The composition of some of the following groups changes from the period in which countries gain membership to that group.

Africa n.e.s.

Includes Algeria, Angola, Benin, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cabo Verde, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Central and West Africa nfd, Chad, Comoros, Congo (Republic of), Congo (Democratic Republic of), Cote d'Ivoire, Djibouti, Egypt, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea–Bissau, Kenya, Lesotho, Liberia, Libya, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mayotte, Morocco, Mozambique, Namibia, Niger, Nigeria, North Africa nec, North Africa nfd, Reunion, Rwanda, Sao Tome and Principe, Senegal, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Somalia, St Helena, Southern & East Africa nec, Southern & East Africa nfd, Sub–Saharan Africa nfd, Sudan, Swaziland, Tanzania, Togo, Tunisia, Uganda, Western Sahara, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

America n.e.s.

Includes Americas nfd, Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Falkland Islands, French Guiana, Guyana, North America nfd, Paraguay, South America nec, South America nfd, St Pierre and Miquelon, Suriname, Uruguay and Venezuela.

Asia n.e.s.

Includes Afghanistan, Armenia, Asia nfd, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Bhutan, British Indian Ocean Territory, Burma (Myanmar), Cambodia, Central Asia nfd, Chinese Asia (includes Mongolia) nfd, East Timor, Gaza Strip and West Bank, Georgia, India, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Japan and the Koreas nfd, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Democratic People's Republic of Korea (North), Kurdistan nfd, Kuwait, Kyrgyz Republic, Laos, Lebanon, Macao, Macau (SAR of China), Mainland South–East Asia nfd, Maldives, Maritime South–East Asia nfd, Middle East nfd, Mongolia, Nepal, North Africa and the Middle East nfd, North East nfd, Northern Mariana nfd, Oman, Pakistan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, South East Asia nfd, Southern and Central Asia nfd, Southern Asia nfd, Sri Lanka, Syria, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, United Arab Emirates, Uzbekistan and Yemen.

Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC)

Includes Brunei Darussalam, Canada, Chile, China (excludes SARs and Taiwan), Hong Kong (SAR of China), Indonesia, Japan, Republic of Korea (South), Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Peru, Philippines, Russian Federation, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand, United States of America and Vietnam.

Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN)

Includes Brunei Darussalam, Burma (Republic of the Union of Myanmar), Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.

Central America and Caribbean

Includes Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, Aruba, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Bermuda, British Virgin Islands, Caribbean nfd, Cayman Islands, Central America nfd, Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominica, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Grenada, Guadeloupe, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Jamaica, Martinique, Montserrat, Netherlands Antilles, Nicaragua, Panama, Puerto Rico, St Kitts–Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Trinidad and Tobago, Turks and Caicos Islands and United States Virgin Islands.

European Union (EU)

Includes Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria (from January 2007), Croatia (from July 2013), Cyprus (from July 2004), Czech Republic (from July 2004), Denmark, Estonia (from July 2004), Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary (from July 2004), Republic of Ireland, Italy, Latvia (from July 2004), Lithuania (from July 2004), Luxembourg, Malta (from July 2004), Netherlands, Poland (from July 2004), Portugal, Romania (from January 2007), Slovak Republic (from July 2004), Slovenia (from July 2004), Spain, Sweden and United Kingdom.

Europe n.e.s.

Includes Adelie Land (France), Albania, Austria, Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Czechoslovakia nfd, Denmark, Eastern Europe nfd, Estonia, Europe nfd, Faeroe Islands, Finland, Former Serbia and Montenegro, Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Former USSR nfd, Former Yugoslavia nfd, Former Czechoslovakia nfd, Gibraltar, Greenland, Hungary, Iceland, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Moldova, Montenegro, North–West Europe nfd, Europe nfd, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Serbia, Slovak Republic, Slovenia, South Eastern Europe nfd, Southern and Eastern Europe nfd, Southern Europe nfd, Spain, Turkey, Ukraine, Western Europe nfd and Yugoslavia.

Oceania n.e.s.

Includes American Samoa, Antarctica nfd, Argentine Antarctic Territory, British Antarctic Territory, Chilean Antarctic Territory, Cook Islands, French Polynesia, French Southern and Antarctic Territory, Guam, Johnston and Sand Islands, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Micronesia nfd, Melanesia nfd, Midway Islands, Nauru, New Caledonia, Niue, Northern Mariana Islands, Norfolk Island, Oceania and Antarctica nfd, Polynesia (excluding Hawaii) nec, Polynesia (excluding Hawaii) nfd, United States Pacific Islands n.i.e., Palau, Pitcairn, Queen Maud Land (Norway), Ross Dependency (New Zealand), Samoa, Samoa American, Solomon Islands, Tokelau, Tonga, Tuvalu, United States Miscellaneous Islands, Vanuatu, Wake Island and Wallis and Futuna.

Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD)

Includes Austria, Belgium, Canada, Chile (from April 2010), Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia (from October 2010), Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Republic of Ireland, Israel (from July 2010), Italy, Japan, Republic of Korea (South), Latvia (from July 2016), Lithuania (from July 2018), Luxembourg, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovak Republic, Slovenia (from July 2010), Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, United Kingdom and United States of America.


Show all

Back to top of the page