CHINA topped the list of Australia’s merchandise trading partners in 2015-16, accounting for more than a quarter of total trade (26.5%), according to the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade’s publication Composition of Trade Australia 2015-16.
Two-way trade between the countries was worth a total of $136.67bn over the year.
Exports to China were $75.2bn, or 30.8% of Australia’s total exports by value for the year.
Not surprisingly iron ores and concentrates were the number one export to China in 2015-16 (worth $75.4bn), followed by coal ($5.6bn) and gold ($3.5bn).
Exports of “edible products and preparations” saw a year-on-year increase in value of 224.5% to $966m in 2015-16.
Imports from China were worth $61.5bn, or 22.6% of the year’s total imports.
The top three most valuable merchandise imports from China were telecom equipment and parts; computers; and furniture, mattresses and cushions.
Japan was Australia’s second-biggest trading partner over 2015-16, accounting for 10.7% of the total value of Australian two-way trade, or $55bn.
Aussie exports to Japan were worth $35.8bn over the year, or 14.7% of Australia’s total exports.
The three most valuable exports from Australia to Japan in 2015-16 included coal (worth $11.2bn), iron ores and concentrates ($4.7bn), and beef ($1.8bn).
While imports from Japan were worth $19bn, 7.1% of total imports to Australia.
Top imports from Japan were passenger motor vehicles ($6.6bn), refined petroleum ($2.6bn) and goods vehicles ($1.4bn).
And, coming in at the number three most valuable trading partner was the US – trade between the two countries was worth $46.2bn over the past financial year, or 9% of Australia’s total.
The US was Australia’s second-largest source of imports, which were worth $32.5bn, or 12% of total imports into the country.
The US was a major source of passenger motor vehicles, with imports of cars into Australia totalling $2.4bn for the period. Aircraft parts and telecom equipment were also valuable imports.
Exports to the States had a value of $13.7bn, or 5.6% of Australia’s total exports.
Ian Ackerman – Sydney
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