International Trade Price Indexes, Australia

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Contains indexes measuring changes in prices of imports of merchandise landed in Australia and exports of merchandise shipped from Australia

Reference period
December 2020

Key statistics

  • Export price index rose 5.5% this quarter and 0.3% through the year.
  • Import price index fell 1.0% this quarter and 7.3% through the year.

  • The Australian dollar appreciated against the United States dollar.

    • The exchange rate had a downward effect on export and import prices this quarter.

    Export price index

    The Export price index rose 5.5% this quarter. The main contributors to the rise were:

    • Metalliferous ores and metal scrap (+11.5%), driven by the demand for iron ore from China.
    • Non-ferrous metals (+9.6%), due to increased global manufacturing demand.
    • Petroleum, petroleum products and related materials (+5.6%), reflecting the slow recovery in oil demand post COVID-19.
    • Gas, natural and manufactured (+2.1%), due to the oil-linked contracts capturing the beginning of the recovery in oil prices.
    • Coal, coke and briquettes (+0.9%), reflecting the demand for thermal coal during the northern hemisphere winter.

    The main offsetting contributors were:

    • Gold, non-monetary (-4.0%), due to easing global uncertainty.
    • Meat and meat preparations (-2.4%), driven by competition in the global market and appreciation of the Australian dollar.

    Through the year, the Export Price Index rose 0.3%. The main contributors were:

    • Gas, natural and manufactured (-40.4%), and
    • Coal, coke and briquettes (-24.9%).

    Import price index

    The Import price index fell 1.0% this quarter. The main contributors to the fall were:

    • Inorganic chemicals (-33.1%), driven by an abundant international supply of caustic soda.
    • Medicinal and pharmaceutical products (-3.3%), recorded falls in prices of vaccines for the treatment of pneumococcal disease.
    • Gold, non-monetary (-3.8%), due to easing global uncertainty.

    The main offsetting contributors were:

    • Telecommunications and sound recording equipment (+3.3%), due to the release of new mobile phone models.
    • Fertilisers (excluding crude) (+15.7%), driven by increased international demand for urea and the recovery of energy prices increasing costs.

    Through the year, the Import Price Index fell 7.3%. The main contributors were:

    • Petroleum, petroleum products and related materials (-36.6%), and
    • Office machines and ADP machines (-6.8%).

    Price movements for Australia's major import products this quarter were:

    • Petroleum, petroleum products and related materials (+0.5%).
    • Road vehicles (including air-cushion vehicles) (+0.1%).
    • Electrical machinery, apparatus and appliances, n.e.s. (-1.2%).
    • Telecommunications and sound-recording equipment (+3.3%).
    • General industrial machinery and equipment, n.e.s. (-0.8%).

    Data downloads

    Time series spreadsheets

    Data files
    Data files

    Use of price indexes in contracts

    Price indexes published by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) provide summary measures of the movements in various categories of prices over time. They are published primarily for use in Government economic analysis. Price indexes are also often used in contracts by businesses and government to adjust payments and/or charges to take account of changes in categories of prices (Indexation Clauses).

    Use of Price Indexes in Contracts sets out a range of issues that should be taken into account by parties considering including an Indexation Clause in a contract using an ABS published price index.

    Previous catalogue number

    This release previously used catalogue number 6457.0.

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