Australian Export Market Performance Review Over 2015-2016

With the last year (2016) coming under review soon, we wanted to highlight how the Australian export market has been performing in the most recent years.  We will look into the top export of goods and services, the perspective of the export market performance against world trade, and also the contribution and values seen.

First and foremost, let’s recap on the fact that between the years 2013 to 2015 there was a decreasing trend, noting and approximate -10% change up until 2015 though export values ranged in the bracket of A$315.6 billion. The drop was due to a dip in the value of general export goods as well as that of the fuels, and minerals. However, in 2016, a comeback was afoot, with an almost +5% change bumping 2016’s export values to an all time high A$330.3 billion, where the reverse was of 2015 was seen, including improved values of export of services and gold too!

The composition of the Australian export market and its performance in 2016 is due to export sectors such as food, minerals & fuels,  manufactures, services, other goods (inclusive of gold), and other primary products to name a few. The following charts which were put together by Australian economy and international trade expert, Mark Thirlwell, denotes the composition against the value of each export sector and it’s due performance in the past year.


The top export sector in Australia continues to be iron ore which is makes up for the break/bulk cargo freight forwarder out of country. Other top exports of goods and services include the likes of coal, education/travel related services, gold, natural gas, personal travel, beef, aluminium ores, wheat, and professional services. The export market share breakdown and composition is shown below.

The following graph shows us how the export goods and services has changed in the last year, where you can see that the largest increases in value were from the likes of coal, iron ore, gold, education services and travel. However, exports of the likes of beef, professional services and aluminium were lagging behind.

China continues to be the top export destination from Australia with high export volumes as much as A$93, followed by Japan, America and Korea. These top  4 export countries have remained unchanged in the last two years, however, in the last year, the UK beat India for the top 5th spot due to the high volumes of gold export to the United Kingdom from Australia.


Graph Source: AusTrade/Mark Thirlwell