The Australian Bureau of Statistics estimates that in the year to June 2016, the nominal value of Tasmania’s overseas merchandise exports was $2.853 billion. This represents an increase of 12.3 per cent compared to the previous year when the value of exports was estimated to be $2.524 billion.
For Australia as a whole, the nominal value of overseas merchandise exports was estimated to have declined by 4.4 per cent in the year to June 2016.
In the year to June 2016 Tasmania’s largest export commodity categories by order of ranking were:
- processed metals and metal products - primarily aluminium and zinc and associated products (contributing $1 209 million in value, an increase of 23.8 per cent from the previous year)
- ores and concentrates - primarily iron ores, tin ores and some copper ores (contributing $398 million, a decrease of 22 per cent from the previous year)
- confidential items of trade (contributing $299 million, an increase of 62.5 per cent compared to the previous year)
- meat products - predominantly fresh, chilled or frozen beef, and some sheep (contributing $213 million, an increase of 18.7 per cent compared to the previous year)
- seafood products - primarily abalone and Atlantic salmon and approximately one-fifth rock lobster (contributing $187 million, an increase of 27.3 per cent compared to the previous year)
- dairy products - primarily powdered full cream and skim milk, approximately one-fifth cheese and a small amount of butter (contributing $125 million, a decrease of 20.5 per cent compared to the previous year).
The export value of ores and concentrates is largely determined by global commodity prices. The decline in the value of dairy exports is primarily driven by a greater supply of dairy products being released onto the global market by various export countries during this period and associated downward pressure on prices.
During this same period Tasmania’s top trading partner was China, receiving goods with an estimated value of $873 million, or 30.6 per cent of Tasmania’s total exports. The next largest trading partners, by ranking, were Taiwan, Malaysia, USA and Japan.
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