Australia’s Top Trading Partners

Australia's Top Trading Partners

by Flagpictures.org

Nicknamed the Land Down Under, Australia is an island economy that strongly benefits from its close proximity to the vast markets of China and Japan which together represent about 40% of all Australian export sales.

During 2015, Australia signed the China-Australia Free Trade Agreement (FTA), which opened tariff-free markets for agricultural, natural resources, energy and manufacturing products and related services. Some experts estimate that the China-Australia FTA will add more than $20 billion in bilateral trade between the two countries.

From a global perspective, Australia shipped US$253.8 billion worth of products worldwide during 2018. That dollar figure represents a 0.5% gain since 2014 and a 10.5% year-over-year uptick from the $229.7 billion in Australian goods exported during 2017.

Australia’s Top Trading Partners

Top 15

Below is a list showcasing 15 of Australia’s top trading partners, countries that imported the most Australian shipments by dollar value during 2018. Also shown is each import country’s percentage of total Australian exports.

  1. China: US$74 billion (29.2% of total Australian exports)
  2. Japan: $26.2 billion (10.3%)
  3. South Korea: $13.6 billion (5.4%)
  4. India: $10.1 billion (4%)
  5. United States: $9.2 billion (3.6%)
  6. Hong Kong: $7.9 billion (3.1%)
  7. New Zealand: $7.1 billion (2.8%)
  8. Taiwan: $6.7 billion (2.6%)
  9. Singapore: $4.9 billion (1.9%)
  10. Thailand: $4.8 billion (1.9%)
  11. Malaysia: $4.5 billion (1.8%)
  12. Indonesia: $4.3 billion (1.7%)
  13. Vietnam: $3.7 billion (1.5%)
  14. United Kingdom: $3.6 billion (1.4%)
  15. Netherlands: $2.2 billion (0.9%)

Approaching three-quarters (72%) of Australian exports in 2018 were delivered to the above 15 trade partners.

Leading the year-over-year increases consuming Australian exported goods were Thailand (up 56.2%), Singapore (up 33.8%), Malaysia (up 31.4%) and the Netherlands (up 19.9%).

The top decline was -21.6% for the United Kingdom trailed by the -14.1% cutback by Hong Kong.

For the complete listing, see the section Searchable Datalist of Countries Importing Australia’s Exports near the bottom of this article.

Deficits

As defined by Investopedia, a country whose total value of all imported goods is higher than its value of all exports is said to have a negative trade balance or deficit.

It would be unrealistic for any exporting nation to expect across-the-board positive trade balances with all its importing partners. Similarly, that export country doesn’t necessarily post a negative trade balance with each individual partner with which it exchanges exports and imports.

Australia incurred the highest trade deficits with the following countries.

  1. United States: -US$14 billion (country-specific trade deficit in 2018)
  2. Germany: -$9.2 billion
  3. Thailand: -$6.1 billion
  4. Malaysia: -$5.2 billion
  5. Italy: -$4.6 billion
  6. Singapore: -$3.7 billion
  7. France: -$3 billion
  8. Mexico: -$2.2 billion
  9. Switzerland: -$1.8 billion
  10. United Kingdom: -$1.8 billion

Among Australia’s trading partners that cause the greatest negative trade balances, Australian deficits with the United Kingdom (up 163.7%), Switzerland (up 52.8%) and Singapore (up 46.5%) grew at the fastest pace from 2017 to 2018.

These cashflow deficiencies clearly indicate Australia’s competitive disadvantages with the above countries, but also represent key opportunities for Australia to develop country-specific strategies to strengthen its overall position in international trade.

Surpluses

Based on Investopedia’s definition of net importer, a country whose total value of all imported goods is lower than its value of all exports is said to have a positive trade balance or surplus.

Australia incurred the highest trade surpluses with the following countries.

  1. China: US$19.1 billion (country-specific trade surplus in 2018)
  2. Japan: $9.4 billion
  3. Hong Kong: $7.1 billion
  4. India: $6 billion
  5. South Korea: $4.1 billion
  6. Taiwan: $3.5 billion
  7. New Zealand: $1.3 billion
  8. Philippines: $1 billion
  9. Indonesia: $746.5 million
  10. Mozambique: $514.7 million
  11. Saudi Arabia: $509.3 million

Among Australia’s trading partners that generate the greatest positive trade balances, Australian surpluses with South Korea (reversing a -$3.2 billion deficit), New Zealand (up 26%), Mozambique (up 25.8%) and Japan (up 24.5%) grew at the fastest pace from 2017 to 2018.

These positive cashflow streams clearly indicate Australia’s competitive advantages with the above countries, but also represent key opportunities for Australia to develop country-specific strategies to optimize its overall position in international trade.

Companies

Companies Servicing Australian Trading Partners

Thirty-six Australian corporations rank among Forbes Global 2000. Below is a selected sample of the major Aussie companies that Forbes included:

  • BHP Billiton (diversified metals)
  • Fortescue Metals Group (iron, steel)
  • Woodside Petroleum (oil, gas)
  • Amcor (containers, packaging)
  • Santos (oil, gas)
  • Caltex Australia (oil, gas)
  • Orica (diversified metals)
  • Newcrest Mining (diversified metals)

According to IMPORTERS.com listings for Australian suppliers, the following are examples of companies that ship products from Australia to its trading partners around the globe. Shown within parenthesis are products that the Australian business provides.

  • Bullys Beef Pty Ltd (beef)
  • Cotton Tree Trading Pty Ltd (dairy products)
  • Harts Food And Beverages PL (coconut water)
  • Logreen Pty Ltd (food additives, vanilla beans)
  • Metabolic Food Company (breakfast cereal blends)
  • Platinum Direct (premium wines)
  • Rasile Global Importers P/L (food, beverages)
  • Scorex (meat, poultry)
  • Sunnyfresh Grapes Australia (grapes)
  • Waverley Australia Pty Ltd (blankets, rugs, quilts)


 

Searchable Datalist of Countries Importing Australia’s Exports

You can change the presentation order by clicking the triangle icon at the top of any of the columns below. The right-most shows the percentage change in value for each importing country since 2017.

RankImporter2018 Australian Exports2017-8
1. China$74 billion+8.9%
2. Japan$26.2 billion+11.1%
3. South Korea$13.6 billion+8.6%
4. India$10.1 billion-0.7%
5. United States$9.2 billion+6.9%
6. Hong Kong$7.9 billion-14.1%
7. New Zealand$7.1 billion+3.4%
8. Taiwan$6.7 billion+7.4%
9. Singapore$4.9 billion+33.8%
10. Thailand$4.8 billion+56.2%
11. Malaysia$4.5 billion+31.4%
12. Indonesia$4.3 billion-12.7%
13. Vietnam$3.7 billion+6.6%
14. United Kingdom$3.6 billion-21.6%
15. Netherlands$2.2 billion+19.9%
16. Germany$2 billion+10.8%
17. Philippines$1.6 billion-10%
18. Papua New Guinea$1.5 billion+12.7%
19. United Arab Emirates$1.3 billion-1%
20. South Africa$1.2 billion+18.6%
21. France$955.9 million+3.7%
22. Brazil$891.7 million-11.7%
23. Switzerland$880.9 million-20.4%
24. Canada$838.7 million-24.5%
25. Bangladesh$680.2 million-25.8%
26. Belgium$667 million-22.8%
27. Italy$608.3 million+14.7%
28. Spain$526.3 million+23.8%
29. Mozambique$523.8 million+21.7%
30. Saudi Arabia$488.6 million-33.7%
31. Fiji$354.2 million+7.3%
32. Poland$331.1 million+22.5%
33. Turkey$325.4 million-70.7%
34. New Caledonia$323.2 million+8%
35. Pakistan$315.5 million-43.8%
36. Egypt$285.9 million-3.7%
37. Kuwait$282.9 million-27.5%
38. Qatar$266.6 million-25.5%
39. Sweden$244.5 million+33.6%
40. Chile$229.5 million-19.8%
41. Iraq$199.8 million+182.6%
42. Sri Lanka$190.1 million-13.4%
43. Israel$174 million+31.5%
44. Russia$154.9 million+78.1%
45. Mexico$141.2 million+9.3%
46. Yemen$138.8 million-33.2%
47. Czech Republic$136.3 million+3.1%
48. Bahrain$132.2 million+5%
49. Myanmar$125.2 million-7.8%
50. Nigeria$108.1 million-35.5%
51. Oman$107.2 million-21.9%
52. Iran$106.7 million-17.4%
53. Panama$102.9 million+14.8%
54. Norway$97.8 million+99.7%
55. Jordan$95.2 million-5.4%
56. Argentina$90.4 million+16.5%
57. Ireland$79.5 million+7.5%
58. Mauritius$73.8 million-9.1%
59. Denmark$72.7 million-43.8%
60. Macao$68.2 million+24.8%
61. Solomon Islands$67.2 million-2.6%
62. Ghana$64.8 million-17.1%
63. Vanuatu$62.9 million+4.7%
64. Finland$61.4 million+34.7%
65. Kenya$59.2 million-38.3%
66. Côte d'Ivoire$57 million+25.2%
67. Georgia$53.3 million+525.6%
68. Ukraine$50.5 million+14.9%
69. Bulgaria$50.2 million+216.6%
70. Luxembourg$43.2 million+1,777%
71. Cambodia$42.4 million+36.7%
72. French Polynesia$42.1 million+5.8%
73. Tanzania$41.4 million+20.4%
74. Peru$41 million-17.6%
75. Colombia$39 million+6.1%
76. Brunei Darussalam$38.9 million+19.6%
77. Nauru$36.6 million+14.1%
78. Nepal$35.7 million-10.7%
79. Romania$35.1 million-39.3%
80. Maldives$34.2 million+3.6%
81. Portugal$30.9 million-24.3%
82. Slovenia$30.6 million-67.5%
83. Austria$29.8 million-32.8%
84. Mongolia$28.6 million+27.3%
85. Hungary$27.5 million+27.4%
86. Christmas Island$26.8 million+1.7%
87. Samoa$25.9 million+16.2%
88. Lebanon$25.6 million-17.9%
89. Greece$23.6 million+58.8%
90. Laos$20.3 million+4.1%
91. Jamaica$20.2 million+43.8%
92. Senegal$19.8 million-47.7%
93. Angola$18.1 million+223.8%
94. Tonga$17.2 million+47%
95. El Salvador$17.1 million+43.8%
96. Ecuador$16.6 million+7.7%
97. Madagascar$15.9 million+6.4%
98. Kiribati$15.3 million-21.1%
99. Timor-Leste$15 million-39.4%
100. US Minor Outlying Islands$14.7 million-3.9%
101. Morocco$14.6 million-52.1%
102. Trinidad/Tobago$14.1 million-24.3%
103. Dominican Republic$12.5 million+62.9%
104. Latvia$12.1 million+33.7%
105. Kazakhstan$12 million+33%
106. Sudan$12 million+34.8%
107. Zambia$10.9 million-26.7%
108. Mali$10.5 million+20.1%
109. Burkina Faso$10.1 million-9.1%
110. Cook Islands$10 million+49.2%
111. Norfolk Island$9.8 million-6.7%
112. Togo$9.6 million+137.9%
113. Algeria$9.4 million-62.1%
114. Mauritania$9.1 million-23.3%
115. Guinea$8.8 million+48%
116. Namibia$8 million+6.6%
117. Uruguay$7.5 million+15.3%
118. Eritrea$7.1 million+239.6%
119. Estonia$7 million-14.5%
120. French S/Antarctic Territories$6.8 million+16.5%
121. Seychelles$6.3 million+14%
122. Micronesia$5.8 million+67.3%
123. Cocos (Keeling) Islands$5.2 million-23%
124. Costa Rica$5.1 million+23.1%
125. Lithuania$4.9 million-2.7%
126. Afghanistan$4.6 million-43.6%
127. Guatemala$4.4 million+59.5%
128. Ethiopia$4.2 million+153.2%
129. Cyprus$3.6 million-8.7%
130. Bahamas$3.4 million-57.4%
131. Uganda$3.3 million-70.9%
132. Northern Mariana Is$3.2 million+86.1%
133. Suriname$3.1 million+17.2%
134. Azerbaijan$3.1 million-13.9%
135. Malta$2.9 million-13.5%
136. Wallis/Futuna Islands$2.8 million-3.2%
137. Zimbabwe$2.8 million+161.5%
138. Marshall Islands$2.8 million+20.6%
139. Guyana$2.7 million-16.9%
140. Democratic Rep. Congo$2.7 million-10.1%
141. Slovakia$2.6 million+28.6%
142. Albania$2.3 million-26.5%
143. Iceland$2.2 million-98.8%
144. Sierra Leone$2.1 million-21.3%
145. Croatia$2.1 million-15.7%
146. Djibouti$1.9 million-41.2%
147. Venezuela$1.9 million+79.1%
148. Gabon$1.7 million+15.1%
149. Tuvalu$1.6 million-42.8%
150. Bolivia$1.6 million-1.5%
151. Serbia$1.6 million+43.4%
152. Barbados$1.5 million+34.4%
153. St Vincent/Grenadines$1.5 million+140.1%
154. Saint Lucia$1.5 million+25.7%
155. Botswana$1.5 million-20.5%
156. Tunisia$1.3 million-65.9%
157. Belize$1.3 million+616.9%
158. Montserrat$1.3 million+18,286%
159. Liberia$1.3 million+16.5%
160. Libya$1.2 million+56.2%
161. Palau$1.2 million-13%
162. Nicaragua$1.1 million-38%
163. Macedonia$1.1 million+67.7%
164. Kyrgyzstan$1 million-36.5%
165. Cameroon$1 million+27.7%
166. Paraguay$998,000-54%
167. Honduras$983,000-28.4%
168. Somalia$944,000-27.3%
169. Congo$883,000-7.6%
170. Benin$869,000+20.2%
171. Armenia$805,000-54.6%
172. Antigua/Barbuda$787,000+28.8%
173. Saint Kitts/Nevis$743,000+43.7%
174. Curaçao$724,000-34.2%
175. Equatorial Guinea$689,000+121.5%
176. Haiti$559,000+272.7%
177. Syrian Arab Republic$511,000-56.7%
178. Cuba$508,000-28.6%
179. Bosnia/Herzegovina$484,000-7.3%
180. Central African Rep$437,000+41%
181. Belarus$419,000+64.3%
182. Bermuda$416,000-21.7%
183. Dominica$413,000+797.8%
184. Rwanda$394,000+7.4%
185. Cayman Islands$388,000-60.5%
186. Turkmenistan$387,000-55.1%
187. Bhutan$361,000+17.2%
188. British Virgin Islands$310,000+152%
189. Saint Helena$270,000-45.1%
190. Malawi$269,000-94.4%
191. Niger$250,000-91.5%
192. Grenada$234,000-11.4%
193. Niue$218,000+58%
194. Pitcairn$178,000+295.6%
195. South Sudan$140,000-28.6%
196. Montenegro$116,000-92.7%
197. Chad$111,000+9.9%
198. Uzbekistan$105,000-55.3%
199. Falkland Is (Malvinas)$91,000-52.4%
200. Tajikistan$83,000-37.1%
201. Gibraltar$65,000+209.5%
202. Swaziland$50,000-23.1%
203. Gambia$44,000+91.3%
204. Turks/Caicos Islands$36,000+1,700%
205. Moldova$21,000-84.9%
206. Burundi$13,000no 2017 data
207. Lesotho$7,000-46.2%
208. Anguilla$4,000no 2017 data
209. Cabo Verde$1,000-50%

 

See also Australia’s Top 10 Imports, Australia’s Top 10 Exports and Australia’s Top 10 Major Export Companies

Research Sources:
The World Factbook, Field Listing: Imports – Commodities, Central Intelligence Agency. Accessed on February 7, 2019

Trade Map, International Trade Centre, www.intracen.org/marketanalysis. Accessed on February 7, 2019

Investopedia, Net Importer Definition. Accessed on February 7, 2019

Forbes 2015 Global 2000 rankings, The World’s Biggest Public Companies. Accessed on February 7, 2019

IMPORTERS.com The Online Market for G20 Importers, Australia Import Export Directory. Accessed on February 7, 2019