MEDIA RELEASE

DEPARTMENT OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS
AND TRADE, Australia

22 May 1998

D46

ANALYSIS OF AUSTRALIAN TRADE RELEASED

The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade has today released the 1997 edition of its publication Composition of Trade, Australia which provides a comprehensive analysis of the growth, direction and commodity breakdown of Australia's merchandise trade in recent years. Individual reports show the detailed composition of trade with all major partners over the past five years.

Highlights of trade in 1997 include an 8 per cent increase in the value of Australia's merchandise trade to $168.2 billion, with exports increasing by 10 per cent to $84.8 billion and imports increasing by 6 per cent to $83.4 billion. Australia recorded a merchandise trade surplus of $1.3 billion in 1997, a turnaround from a deficit of $1.4 billion in 1996.

The 1997 edition also contains articles on the causes of the economic crisis in East Asia and its impact on Australia's merchandise trade to the end of February 1998.

Copies of this publication can be purchased for $40 each by contacting DFAT'S Market Information and Analysis Unit on:

phone: (02) 6261 3114

fax: (02) 62613321.

Orders can also be placed via the Department's website at http://www.dfat.gov.au/bookshelf

The analysis and summary tables from Composition of Trade, along with the latest available information on the East Asian economic crisis, are also available from the Department's website

Media inquiries: Tony Melville/Julie McDonald 02 6261 1555 or 0418 623 327