Media release from the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade

D10 - 20 July 2006

Trade Growth Strong Across Major Regions

Australia's trade with East Asia, the European Union and the Americas all rose in 2005, by 18 per cent, 8 per cent and 4 per cent respectively. Analysis released today by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) shows that these three regions accounted for over 80 per cent of Australia total trade with the world.

The new DFAT e-Publications released today-Australia's Trade with East Asia 2005, Australia's Trade with the European Union 2005 and Australia's Trade with the Americas 2005-provide a comprehensive analysis of the growth, direction and composition of Australia's merchandise and services trade with each region. Individual reports for countries in each region provide major economic indicator data and information on each country's significance as a trading partner for Australia.

Australia's Trade with East Asia
The value of Australia's total trade in goods and services to East Asia rose 18 per cent in 2005 to $181.6 billion and accounted for 49 per cent of Australia's world trade and 53 per cent of total exports. Coal ($13.9 billion), iron ore ($10.6 billion) and crude petroleum ($5.1 billion) were Australia's largest merchandise export items to East Asia in 2005, with the most important markets being Japan, China, Republic of Korea and Singapore.

Australia's Trade with the European Union
An 8 per cent rise in total trade in goods and services to the EU resulted in a total trade value of $67.9 billion in 2005, 18 per cent of Australia's world trade and 13 per cent of total exports. Coal ($3.4 billion), alcoholic beverages ($1.3 billion) and medicaments ($763 million) were Australia's largest merchandise export items to the region in 2005. The United Kingdom was the largest export market within the EU, followed by the Netherlands, Germany and Italy.

Australia's Trade with the Americas
Australia's total trade with the Americas rose 4 per cent to $51.9 billion in 2005, and accounted for 14 per cent of Australia's world trade and 11 per cent of total exports. Major merchandise exports to the Americas included beef and veal ($1.3 billion), coal ($1.2 billion), alcoholic beverages ($1.2 billion), meat (excl beef and veal) ($541 million) and passenger vehicles ($379 million). Exports to the United States accounted for 73 per cent of exports to the Americas, Canada accounted for 12 per cent and Central America, the Caribbean and South America accounted for the remaining 15 per cent.

The publications (priced at $20 each or $55 for the set of three) are the first electronic publications in the series of trade publications published each year by DFAT. Emailed in .pdf format, the publications 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/trade.

Media Inquiries:  DFAT Media Liaison on 02 6261 1555