International Trade Price Indexes, Australia

Latest release

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

Reference period
September 2023
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    International Trade Price Indexes, Australia, December 2023
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    International Trade Price Indexes, Australia, March 2024
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    International Trade Price Indexes, Australia, June 2024
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Key statistics

  • Export price index fell 3.1% this quarter and 10.7% through the year.
  • Import price index rose 0.8% this quarter and fell 2.4% through the year.

What's new this quarter

This issue includes:

Information about the Import Price index and Export Price Index reweight for September quarter 2023. An update of changes is provided in this release under Changes in this issue.

Export price index

The main contributors to the fall were:

  • Coal, coke and briquettes (-11.3%), driven by improved global supplies of thermal coal and reduced demand for metallurgical coal as steel production declines,
  • Crude fertilisers and minerals (-29.0%), driven by a fall in lithium prices, as global production of lithium has increased rapidly creating surplus supply,
  • Cereals and cereal preparations (-9.6%), driven by falls in wheat prices as bumper harvests in the northern hemisphere offset the renewed uncertainty surrounding grain exports through the Black Sea region,
  • Oilseeds (-22.7%), driven by falls in the prices of both canola and soybean oils, as strong global supplies more than offset demand from the biofuel industry, and
  • Non-ferrous metals (-4.8%), driven by the falls across all major exported metals, reflecting weak global manufacturing and industrial demand.

The main offsetting contributors were:

  • Metalliferous ores and metal scrap (+3.9%), due to Chinese steelmakers ramping up production over expectations that policy makers will mandate limits over steel production. This offset the downward price pressure due to concerns over slow economic growth in China, and
  • Sugars and honey (+11.0%), driven by adverse weather conditions impacting production, and high crude oil prices encouraging global sugar mills to divert more cane crushing toward ethanol production rather than sugar, further reducing supply.

Through the year, the Export Price Index fell 10.7%. The main contributors were:

  • Coal, coke and briquettes (-38.7%), and
  • Gas, natural and manufactured (-33.1%).

Import price index

The main contributors to the rise were:

  • Petroleum, petroleum products and related materials (+9.4%), driven by production cuts from major oil producing nations on top of OPEC+ previously limiting supply in response to falling oil prices throughout the year, and
  • Road vehicles (+1.3%), driven by small price rises passed through as demand continues to outpace supply for passenger vehicles.

The main offsetting contributors were:

  • Inorganic chemicals (-18.5%), driven by excess supplies of caustic soda as demand for its use in the manufacture of products including Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC) and pulp, rapidly declines amid a weak Chinese economy,
  • Medicinal Products (-2.9%), driven by price reviews for some products due to falls in domestic demand,
  • Paper and related products (-8.0%), driven by the easing of supply chain pressures and input costs such as energy and pulp, that pushed prices to record highs in 2022, and
  • Telecommunications equipment (-1.6%) driven by strong price falls in older model mobile phones. New model mobile phones imported into Australia this quarter at higher prices only partially offset the falls.

Through the year, the Import Price Index fell 2.4%. The main contributor was:

  • Petroleum, petroleum products and related materials (-18.2%).

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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.

Changes in this issue

The Import Price Index and the Export Price Index have been reweighted for the September quarter 2023. These indexes are annually reweighted each September quarter, using import and export values. A detailed explanation of the reweighting methodology and data sources is available in the Methodology, under the heading Items and weights. The new weighting patterns are provided in the Appendix of this issue. As a consequence of the annual reweighting, the points contribution data for the June quarter 2023 shown in Tables 2, 8 and 17 have been updated from those published in the previous issue of this publication.

Changes in future issues

As part of ABS’ ongoing shift to more modern data collection processes, all International Trade Price Indexes respondents will provide data online from December quarter 2023.

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