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
March 2023

Key statistics

  • Export price index rose 1.6% this quarter and 6.9% through the year.
  • Import price index fell 4.2% this quarter and rose 4.7% through the year.

Export price index

The main contributors to the rise were:

  • Metalliferous ores and metal scrap (+16.9%), due to an increase in Chinese iron ore demand stemming from an end to COVID-19 restrictions and supportive government policies for construction and manufacturing,
  • Crude fertilisers and minerals (+23.9%), driven by a rise in lithium, with long term contract prices reflecting peaking demand from late 2022, and
  • Gold, non-monetary (+4.9%), driven by stronger demand for the safe haven asset amidst high inflation and global economic uncertainty.

The main offsetting contributors were:

  • Gas, natural and manufactured (-15.2%), driven by price falls in oil-linked contracts and lower demand due to a milder northern winter,
  • Coal, coke and briquettes (-5.6%), driven by lower demand for thermal coal for heating, partly offset by rises in metallurgical coal due to increased demand for steel production, and
  • Meat and meat preparations (-16.7%), driven by increased global supply, particularly following increased slaughter rates in the US due to drought conditions.

Through the year, the Export Price Index rose 6.9%. The main contributors were:

  • Gas, natural and manufactured (+19.7%), and
  • Coal, coke and briquettes (+7.4%).

Import price index

The main contributors to the fall were:

  • Petroleum, Petroleum Products and Related Materials (-16.6%), driven by strong global supplies and lower demand, as global economic activity slows,
  • Fertiliser (excluding crude fertilisers) (-36.0%), driven by falling prices for natural gas, a key input to production, and
  • Electrical machinery and apparatus (-4.7%) driven by the appreciation of the Australian dollar.

The main offsetting contributors were:

  • Specialised machinery (+5.2%), driven by new calendar year price reviews reflecting strong inflationary pressures and increased input costs through 2022, and
  • Road vehicles (+1.5%), driven by the introduction of new models at higher prices.

Through the year, the Import Price Index rose 4.7%. The main contributor was

  • General industrial machinery and equipment, n.e.s., and machine parts, n.e.s. (+10.9%).

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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.

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