Australia's resource export volumes surge in 2013

Media Release

25 July 2014

The volume of Australia's resources (mineral and fuels) exports grew over 10 per cent in 2013 - almost double the annual rate of the last decade - according to statistics released today by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

The increase in volumes shows the resources boom transitioning from the investment phase to the production phase as projects developed over recent years begin operation. In 2013, higher volumes of iron ore and coal were the principal drivers of export growth.

DFAT’s newly released “Composition of Trade, Australia 2013” also shows export values rose 6 per cent to $318.5 billion. All major sectors including rural goods, minerals and fuels, manufactures and services recorded export growth.

In 2013, China remained Australia's top trading partner, with two-way trade valued at $150.9 billion. Trade with Japan was valued at $70.8 billion, while trade with the United States accounted for $54.7 billion.

Other key points on exports include:

  • Iron ore rose 27.6 per cent to a record $69.5 billion in 2013,
  • Natural gas up 8.8 per cent to $14.6 billion,
  • Other personal travel services (excluding education) - which includes short term
  • visitors’ expenditure in Australia mainly for recreational purposes - rose 8 per cent to $13.1 billion,
  • Aluminium ores up 11.9 per cent to $5.9 billion,
  • Beef up 19.8 per cent to $5.7 billion, and
  • Professional services up 18.9 per cent to $4.6 billion.

Exports of education-related travel services (which includes foreign student expenditure on tuition fees and living expenses in Australia) rose for the first time in four years, by 3.8 per cent to $15.0 billon.

The analyses and tables from the publications, along with Excel pivot tables, are available on the DFAT website http://www.dfat.gov.au/trade/resources/trade-statistics/ or please email statssection@dfat.gov.au for a customised consultancy service.

Last Updated: 25 July 2014