Media release from the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade

D12 - 26 August 2004

Strong Export Growth to European Union in 2003

Analysis released today by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) shows Australian exports of goods and services to the European Union rose by 4 per cent to $21.8 billion in 2003.

A new DFAT report Australia's Trade with the European Union, 2003, provides a comprehensive analysis of the growth, direction and composition of Australia's merchandise and services trade with the European Union (EU) and with the European Free Trade Association (EFTA).

Merchandise exports to the European Union rose 3 per cent to $15.2 billion and accounted for 14 per cent of total Australian merchandise exports. Export commodities that performed strongly in 2003 included: Gold, up 108 per cent to $2.7 billion; and Ships, up 261 per cent to $123 million.

The United Kingdom was Australia's largest trading partner within the European Union, accounting for 49 per cent of total merchandise exports. Exports to the United Kingdom rose 32 per cent (mainly due to increased Gold exports) to $7.4 billion in 2003.

Services exports to the European Union also rose in 2003, increasing by 6 per cent to $6.6 billion in 2003 and accounting for 20 per cent of Australia's total services exports.

In 2003, Transportation services rose 8 per cent to $1.4 billion, Travel services by 6 per cent to $3.6 billion and Other services rose 5 per cent to $1.6 billion. Within the Other services category, exports of Communication services rose 53 per cent to $262 million, Computer and information services rose 18 per cent to $111 million and Personal, cultural and recreational services rose 23 per cent to $108 million.

The United Kingdom was our largest market for services in 2003, accounting for 58 per cent ($3.8 billion) of Australia's exports of services to the European Union.

Australia's Trade with the European Union, 2003 (priced at $30) is part of a series published each year by DFAT, providing comprehensive information on Australia's international trade in goods and services. DFAT also offers a customised consultancy service, producing reports tailored to specific requirements. For further information please contact (02) 6261 3114, fax (02) 6261 3321 or email statssection@dfat.gov.au.

The analysis and summary tables from publications are placed on the DFAT website at www.dfat.gov.au/publications/statistics.html. Orders for publications can also be placed at this site.

Media enquiries:  Justin Lee, DFAT Media Liaison on 02 6261 1555