Australia's Record Breaking Export Performance in 2006

Media Release

10 May 2007

Media Release

Australia’s exports rose 16 per cent in 2006 to a record $210 billion. A new Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade publication released today details Australia’s record breaking export performance achieved in resources, manufacturing and services.

Composition of Trade, Australia 2006 shows that resource exports led by fuels and minerals grew strongly. Exports of iron ore rose 30 per cent to $14.4 billion, gold 57 per cent to $9.1 billion, aluminium ores 30 per cent to $6.1 billion, aluminium 33 per cent to $5.9 billion and natural gas 39 per cent to $5.1 billion.

Exports of manufactures posted double-digit growth, rising 13 per cent to $42 billion with exports of simply transformed manufactures rising 32 per cent to $14.6 billion. Services exports expanded eight per cent to $43.8 billion led by education-related travel services, which rose 14 per cent to $10.5 billion.

The strong rise in Australia’s exports more than offset a 12 per cent rise in imports, which was underpinned by robust domestic consumption and investment. This has resulted in a fall of 31 per cent ($5.1 billion) in the trade deficit to $11.6 billion.

Japan remained Australia’s largest merchandise export market, accounting for 20 per cent ($32.5 billion) of exports, followed by China ($20.4 billion) and the Republic of Korea ($12.3 billion).

Composition of Trade, Australia 2006provides a comprehensive analysis of the growth, direction and commodity breakdown of Australia's merchandise exports and imports in recent years, and details of services trade over a five year period. 

The publication (priced at $55) 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, or fax (02) 6261 3321 or email

The analysis and summary tables from publications are placed on the DFAT website at  Orders for publications can also be placed at this site.

Media Inquiries:  DFAT Media Liaison on 02 6261 1555

Last Updated: 19 September 2014