From a global perspective, Australia shipped US$401.1 billion worth of goods around the globe in 2022. That dollar amount reflects a 50.5% increase from $254.5 billion during 2018.
Year over year, the value of Australian exports accelerated by 16.1% compared to $345.6 billion for 2021.
Applying a continental lens, 82.7% of Australia exports by value were delivered to customers in Asia while a more modest 6.4% were sold to importers in Europe. Australia shipped another 5% worth of goods to North America.
Smaller percentages went to Oceania (3.9%) led by New Zealand and Papua New Guinea, Africa (1.1%) and Latin America (1%) excluding Mexico but including the Caribbean.
Australia’s Top Trading Partners
Below is a list showcasing 15 of Australia’s top trading partners, countries that imported the most Australian shipments by dollar value during 2022. Also shown is each import country’s percentage of total Australian exports.
- China: US$103.9 billion (25.9% of total Australian exports)
- Japan: $49 billion (12.2%)
- South Korea: $24.1 billion (6%)
- India: $14.8 billion (3.7%)
- United States: $13.7 billion (3.4%)
- Taiwan: $12.6 billion (3.1%)
- New Zealand: $9.1 billion (2.3%)
- Vietnam: $9.1 billion (2.3%)
- Indonesia: $7.3 billion (1.8%)
- Malaysia: $5.9 billion (1.5%)
- Hong Kong: $5.5 billion (1.4%)
- Singapore: $4.8 billion (1.2%)
- Netherlands: $4.2 billion (1.1%)
- Thailand: $3.9 billion (1%)
- Germany: $3.5 billion (0.9%)
Around two-thirds (67.6%) of Australian exports in 2022 were delivered to the above 15 trade partners.
Growing their purchases of products exported from Australia at the fastest pace were the Netherlands (up 72.%), Japan (up 64.4%), Malaysia (up 43%), Taiwan (up 37.3%), Germany (up 29.5%) and Vietnam (up 29%).
Four major customers reduced spending on Australian exports in 2022. These were Singapore (down -45.8% from 2021), Hong Kong (down -22.8%), Thailand (down -10.5%) and mainland China (down -10.1%).
Countries Causing Japan’s Worst Trade Surpluses
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.
- United States: -US$15.5 billion (country-specific trade deficit in 2022)
- Singapore: -$8.8 billion
- Germany: -$7.90 billion
- Thailand: -$7.87 billion
- Malaysia: -$5.9 billion
- Italy: -$5.5 billion
- United Kingdom: -$3 billion
- Brunei Darussalam: -$2.9 billion
- France: -$2.60 billion
- Mexico: -$2.57 billion
Among Australia’s trading partners that cause the greatest negative trade balances, Australian deficits with Singapore (up 1,519), Brunei Darussalam (up 138.5%) and the United Kingdom (up 58%) grew at the fastest pace from 2021 to 2022.
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.
Countries Generating Japan’s Best Trade Surpluses
Australia generated an overall $111.7 billion surplus in 2022, up by 15.5% from $96.7 billion in black ink one year earlier.
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.
- Japan: US$32 billion (country-specific trade surplus in 2022)
- China: $26.9 billion
- India: $8.2 billion
- South Korea: $5.9 billion
- Taiwan: $5.2 billion
- Hong Kong: $4.6 billion
- New Zealand: $4.2 billion
- Indonesia: $3.5 billion
- Vietnam: $2.8 billion
- Netherlands: $2.2 billion
Among Australia’s trading partners that generate the greatest positive trade balances, Australian surpluses with Japan (up 119.1% from 2021), Vietnam (up 44.6%), India (up 19.2%) and New Zealand (up 19%) grew at the fastest pace from 2021 to 2022.
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 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 Database of Australia’s Top 100 Trade Partners
By value, the following automated table showcases the 100 biggest buyers of exported products from Australia.
Collectively, the 100 leading trade partners bought $308.4 billion worth of products exported from Australia during 2022. That dollar amount equals 76.9% of total Australian exports.
|16.||United Arab Emirates||$3,035,747,000||+79.4%|
|24.||Papua New Guinea||$1,390,390,000||+9.7%|
You can change the order for the displayed entries by clicking on the column headings in the above table.
See also Australia’s Top 10 Imports, Australia’s Top 10 Exports and Australia’s Top 10 Major Export Companies
Central Intelligence Agency, The World Factbook Country Profiles. Accessed on March 20, 2023
Forbes Global 2000 rankings, The World’s Biggest Public Companies. Accessed on March 20, 2023
IMPORTERS.com The Online Market for G20 Importers, Australia Import Export Directory. Accessed on March 20, 2023
International Monetary Fund, Exchange Rates selected indicators (National Currency per U.S. dollar, period average). Accessed on March 20, 2023
International Monetary Fund, World Economic Outlook Database (GDP based on Purchasing Power Parity). Accessed on March 20, 2023
International Trade Centre, Trade Map. Accessed on March 20, 2023
Investopedia, Net Exports Definition. Accessed on March 20, 2023
Richest Country Reports, Key Statistics Powering Global Wealth. Accessed on March 20, 2023
Wikipedia, Gross domestic product. Accessed on March 20, 2023
Wikipedia, List of Companies of Australia. Accessed on March 20, 2023
Wikipedia, Purchasing power parity. Accessed on March 20, 2023
Zepol’s Company summary highlights by country. Accessed on March 20, 2023