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Export and import statistics

Your guide to Australia's largest exports, imports and trading partners.

Quick summary

  • Australia's top exports in 2022 were coal ($142 billion), iron ore ($124 billion), natural gas ($90 billion) and education-related services ($26 billion).
  • Refined petroleum was Australia's largest import in 2020, at $53 billion (10% of all imports).
  • China, Japan and South Korea are Australia's top export destinations. China is Australia's largest two-way trading partner, accounting for 24.9% of all imports and exports.
  • Australia's trade surplus fell to $6.79 billion in September 2023, down from a surplus of $10.16 billion in August 2023.
  • Australia ranks 93rd in the Atlas of Economic Complexity, countries such as Uganda, Malawi and Kazakhstan have a higher ranking. Over the past decade, Australia's complexity has dropped by 12 places.

Australia might not have a diverse range of exports but it's still one of the largest economies in the world. Based on GDP figures, Australia is the 12th largest economy in the world with a GDP of $1.675 trillion.

Australia's top 10 exports 2022 ($ million)

Exports202020212022% share 2022
1. Coal43,36863,505142,34521.20%
2. Iron ore and concentrates116,915154,656124,21318.50%
3. Natural gas36,20949,81190,34313.50%
4. Education-related travel services31,68822,02326,5904.00%
5. Gold25,49223,28123,5133.50%
6. Wheat3,9109,43614,4572.20%
7. Crude petroleum6,23910,11314,4242.20%
8. Crude minerals9931,82312,2271.80%
9. Beef9,5969,06210,2711.50%
10. Aluminum ores and concentrates8,3018,9019,8651.50%

Australia's top 10 imports ($ million)

Imports202020212022% share 2022
1. Refined petroleum15,85725,69453,19910.00%
2. Passenger motor vehicles18,69023,35527,6985.20%
3. Freight transport services11,30916,95626,7705.00%
4. Personal travel (excluding education-related services)9,5951,31221,3184.00%
5. Telecom equipment and parts14,78314,53816,8613.20%
6. Goods vehicles8,98512,22713,9322.60%
7. Computers10,44110,91112,3642.30%
8. Professional services9,04010,03011,8572.20%
9. Crude petroleum6,0497,31810,3512.00%
10. Medicaments (including veterinary)8,2407,55010,1671.90%

Looking for the best exchange rates when paying overseas suppliers? Check out our guide to international business transfers.

Australia's largest trading partners

China remains Australia's largest export partner but trade fell 2% vs the previous year. Exports to Japan and South Korea grew 84% and 42%, respectively year-on-year. Most of the demand was driven by strong commodity prices.

The top 5 import partners for Australia in 2022 were:

  1. China: $114.24 billion (up 22%).
  2. USA: $56.66 billion (up 29%).
  3. Singapore: $28.89 billion (up 65%).
  4. South Korea: $27.92 billion (up 111%).
  5. Japan: $27.43 billion (up 131%).

These 5 countries make up 50% of Australia's total international trade in imports.

In 2020–21:

  • The number of Australian business importers increased by 6%, to 124,507.
  • 56% of business importers in Australia traded at least once with China.

Australia's largest two-way trading partners

CountryAmount% share
1. China$299.4 billion24.90%
2. Japan$147.3 billion12.30%
3. United States$87.3 billion7.30%
4. South Korea$81.9 billion6.80%
5. Singapore$52.9 billion4.40%
6. India$48.5 billion4.00%
7. Taiwan$42.7 billion3.60%
8. Malaysia$33.4 billion2.80%
9. New Zealand$31.4 billion2.60%
10. Germany$29.2 billion2.40%

International trade balance

  • Australia's trade surplus fell to $6.79 billion in September 2023, down from a surplus of $10.16 billion in August. This is the lowest surplus level since March 2021.
  • ABS data shows that exports fell $658 million (1.4%) in September 2023, driven by non-monetary gold.
  • Non-monetary gold exports fell by 39.2% from August to September 2023, but exports of general merchandise increased by 2.1%.
  • Imports rose $2.7 billion (7.5%) from August to September 2023.
  • Non-monetary gold imports increased by 39.7% from August to September 2023, while capital goods imports increased by 23.3%.
  • In the 2022 calendar year, Australia's balance on goods and services was a surplus of $155 billion.
  • Total goods and services exports increased by 29% to $668.94 billion in 2022. Total goods and services imports increased by 33% to $513.21 billion in 2022.

Economic Complexity Index

  • The Atlas of Economic Complexity from the Growth Lab at Harvard University ranks economies around the world based on their level of complexity. Each jurisdiction is given an Economic Complexity Index (ECI).
  • Australia is ranked 93rd with an ECI of -0.55 and has fallen 12 places over the 10 years to 2021. It's also significantly down from its ranking of 60th (ECI: 0.04) in 2000. New Zealand is ranked 52nd with an ECI of 0.20.
  • According to the index, Australia's⁩ worsening complexity is due to "a lack of diversification of exports"⁩.⁩
  • Australia⁩ has the 9th richest economy⁩ per capita out of the 133 included in the study, with a GDP per capita of ⁨$60,444. Australia's GDP per capita growth has averaged ⁨0.7%⁩ over the 5 years to 2021.
  • ⁨Australia's lack of economic complexity means slow economic growth is predicted.⁩ Harvard Growth Lab forecasts growth in ⁨Australia⁩ of ⁨2.0%⁩ annually in the 10 years to 2031, ranking Australia in the ⁨bottom half⁩ of countries.

Country Complexity Rankings 2018–2021

CountryECI Rank 2021ECI Rank 2020ECI Rank 2019ECI Rank 2018
Japan1111
Switzerland2222
South Korea3443
Germany4334
Singapore5555
Czechia6676
Austria7767
United Kingdom891313
Slovenia9101010
Sweden10888
Hungary111199
Slovakia12131415
Ireland13121517
United States of America14141112
Finland15151211
Italy16161814
France17171618
China18181716
Romania19192223
Belgium20232120
Israel21211921
Mexico22202019
Thailand23252422
Denmark24242525
Poland25272724
Netherlands26262626
Estonia27283028
Malaysia28222327
Belarus29293230
Lithuania30303432
Croatia31312929
Bosnia and Herzegovina32383536
Philippines33342834
Spain34323331
Portugal35353933
Latvia36363635
Serbia37393737
Saudi Arabia38333139
Bulgaria39414242
Turkey40404040
Canada41423838
India42464341
Bahrain43444646
Norway44374145
Tunisia45454843
Cyprus46475149
Costa Rica47494448
Lebanon48514944
Ukraine49505047
Greece50545656
Uruguay51686158
New Zealand52555253
Russia53525465
North Macedonia54616257
Kuwait555355102
United Arab Emirates56484762
Jordan57636452
Dominican Republic58657269
Georgia59716364
El Salvador60666055
Vietnam61575954
Moldova62647171
Eswatini63606768
Indonesia64696561
Kyrgyzstan65586860
Colombia66626651
Egypt67747066
South Africa68735863
Oman69708087
Brazil70675750
Mauritius71727374
Uzbekistan72839184
Iran73768175
Argentina74827972
Guatemala75878577
Albania76778981
Sri Lanka77797679
Chile78757773
Jamaica79787470
Kenya80958480
Morocco81859091
Qatar82596976
Cambodia83818788
Laos84939392
Paraguay85868885
Panama86434559
Trinidad and Tobago87565378
Kazakhstan88848295
Malawi8911611399
Honduras90949286
Armenia91807882
Uganda92929490
Australia93898689
Pakistan949696100
Namibia95887583
Algeria96100119118
Senegal979710298
Tajikistan989197120
Mali9911883104
Burkina Faso1009810894
Bangladesh101101110109
Madagascar102111116113
Turkmenistan103108109103
Yemen104110122124
Zambia105109104105
Myanmar106114115111
Peru107105100106
Ethiopia1081069996
Tanzania10911510367
Nicaragua110117107107
Botswana1111139593
Bolivia112104106114
Zimbabwe113103101115
Togo11410211197
Azerbaijan115124124128
Angola11699112130
Cuba11712398116
Ecuador118120120110
Libya11990129127
Mozambique120121114123
Ghana121107105101
Mongolia122112118108
Venezuela123122128119
Republic of the Congo124129123129
Mauritania125128126122
Côte d'Ivoire126119117112
Gabon127131125126
Nigeria128130132133
Cameroon129126127121
Papua New Guinea130127130132
Democratic Republic of the Congo131125131131
Guinea132132133125
Liberia133133121117

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