International Trade: Supplementary Information, Calendar Year methodology

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Reference period

Explanatory notes


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.

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

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).

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, September 2009 (cat. no. 5310.0.55.002) describes the key changes introduced with BPM6.

Accuracy, reliability and revisions

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, 2018-19 (cat. no. 5204.0), released in October 2019 and the September 2019 issue of Balance of Payments and International Investment Position (cat. no. 5302.0) released in December 2019.

Sign convention

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.

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

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, 2011 (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

Update to country labels

18 In this issue, country labels have been updated to correspond with the Standard Australian Classification of Countries (SACC) (cat. no 1269.0). The SACC reflects country titles recognised by the Australian Government. The identification of countries and country groups within the SACC does not imply the expression of any opinion on the part of the ABS regarding the legal status of any country, territory, or area, or concerning the delimitation of its frontiers or boundaries.

Composition of country groups

19 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, nes

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

America, nes

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

Asia, nes

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

Asia Pacific Econimic Cooperation (APEC)

Includes Brunei Darussalam; Canada; Chile; China (excludes SARs and Taiwan); Hong Kong (SAR of China); Indonesia; Japan; Korea, Republic of (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; Cambodia; Indonesia; Laos; Malaysia; Myanmar; Philippines; Singapore; Thailand; and Vietnam.

Central America and Carribean

Includes Anguilla; Antigua and Barbuda; Aruba; Bahamas; Barbados; Belize; Bermuda; 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, nfd; Nicaragua; Panama; Puerto Rico; St Kitts and Nevis; St Lucia; St Vincent and the Grenadines; Trinidad and Tobago; Turks and Caicos Islands; Virgin Islands, British; and Virgin Islands, United States.

European Union (EU)

Includes Austria; Belgium; Bulgaria; Croatia; Cyprus; Czechia; Denmark; Estonia; Finland; France; Germany; Greece; Hungary; Ireland; Italy; Latvia; Lithuania; Luxembourg; Malta; Netherlands; Poland; Portugal; Romania; Slovakia; Slovenia; Spain; Sweden; and United Kingdom.

Europe, nes

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

Oceania, nes

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

Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD)

Includes Austria; Belgium; Canada; Chile; Czechia; Denmark; Estonia; Finland; France; Germany; Greece; Hungary; Iceland; Ireland; Israel; Italy; Japan; Korea, Republic of (South); Latvia; Lithuania; Luxembourg; Mexico; Netherlands; New Zealand; Norway; Poland; Portugal; Slovakia; Slovenia; Spain; Sweden; Switzerland; Turkey; United Kingdom; and United States of America.


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