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
September 2021

Key statistics

  • Export price index rose 6.2% this quarter and 41.0% through the year.
  • Import price index rose 5.4% this quarter and 6.4% through the year.

Export price index

The main contributors to the rise were:

  • Coal, coke and briquettes (+48.1%), driven by surging global demand for thermal and coking coals.
  • Gas, natural and manufactured (+39.5%), due to the rise in oil-linked contracts capturing the continued oil price rises in 2021.
  • Non-ferrous metals (+17.1%), through increased manufacturing demand as pandemic restrictions ease and economic activity increases.
  • Meat and meat preparations (+10.3%), due to strong demand for beef and constrained global supply.
  • Petroleum, petroleum products and related materials (+12.0%), driven by strong global oil demand and constrained global supply.

The main offsetting contributor was:

  • Metalliferous ores and metal scrap (-12.8%), driven by the fall in demand for iron ore from China.

Through the year, the Export Price Index rose 41.0%. The main contributors were:

  • Metalliferous ores and metal scrap (+36.1%),
  • Coal, coke and briquettes (+82.8%), and
  • Gas, natural and manufactured (+96.2%).

Import price index

The main contributors to the rise were:

  • Petroleum, petroleum products and related materials (+12.2%), driven by price rises in refined products, stronger oil demand and constrained global supply.
  • Fertilisers (excluding crude) (+42.6%), due to rising energy costs of production, strong global demand and supply constraints.
  • Road vehicles (including air-cushion vehicles) (+2.7%), driven by ongoing strong global demand for new passenger and commercial vehicles, and input component shortages effecting global supply.
  • Iron and steel (+18.7%), due to the global construction boom, logistical constraints and supply shortages.
  • Textile yarn, fabrics, made-up articles, and related products (+13.6%), due to increased input costs, particularly cotton.

The main offsetting contributor was:

  • Telecommunications and sound recording equipment (-2.0%), due to the discounting of older model mobile phones.

Through the year, the Import Price Index rose 6.4%. The main contributor was:

  • Petroleum, petroleum products and related materials (+57.0%).

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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.

Changes in this issue

The Import Price Index and the Export Price Index have been reweighted for the September quarter 2021. 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 2021 shown in Tables 2, 8 and 17 have been updated from those published in the previous issue of this publication.

Previous catalogue number

This release previously used catalogue number 6457.0.

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