Media release from the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade

D9 - 13 July 2006

Stronger Export Performance from the Rural Sector

The value of Australia's exports of goods and services rose to $48.2 billion in March quarter 2006, a two per cent rise in seasonally adjusted terms. For the 12 months to March 2006, exports were 16 per cent higher at $185.0 billion.

Exports growth in the March quarter came from the rural, manufacturing and services sectors. Higher cereals and wool exports contributed to improved rural sector performance, with rural exports up four per cent in value (to $6.5 billion) and up six per cent in volume terms. A two per cent rise in manufactures exports to $9.9 billion was influenced by higher metals prices, while the value of services exports rose five per cent to $9.8 billion. Despite higher prices received for minerals and fuels exports during the March quarter, the value of minerals and fuels exports declined by 0.5 per cent to $16.5 billion. This was mainly due to cyclones in Northern Australia which disrupted mining, oil and gas production and shipping services during the March quarter.

The export results are contained in the Winter 2006 issue of Trade Topics: A Quarterly Review of Australia's International Trade, released today by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT).

Trade Topics, brings together a range of statistical information produced by Australian government agencies and international organisations, together with analysis of the latest trade developments, designed to keep Australians informed of market conditions and trends.

The Winter 2006 issue of Trade Topics features a number of trade-related articles. They include articles on: exports to China, Australia's fastest growing major export destination; Australia's uranium trade; Australia's iron ore exports, with a particular focus on demand from China; and the issue of intellectual property protection and its importance to developing countries as a driver of growth.

Trade Topics includes quarterly and annual data on Australia's trade in goods and services by commodity, market, level of processing, and State and Territory as well as selected macroeconomic, commodity price and investment information.

The publication is one of a series of trade publications published each year by DFAT. Copies can be purchased through the Market Information and Analysis Section (ph 02 6261 3114, fax 02 6261 3321 or email statssection@dfat.gov.au). The analysis and summary tables from publications, and an order form, are available at: www.dfat.gov.au/publications/statistics.html.

Media Inquiries:  DFAT Media Liaison on 02 6261 1555