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International Trade Price Indexes, Australia

Contains indexes measuring changes in prices of imports of merchandise landed in Australia and exports of merchandise shipped from Australia

Reference period
December Quarter 2019
Released
30/01/2020

Key statistics

  • Import price index rose 0.7% this quarter and 1.4% through the year.
  • Export price index fell 5.2% this quarter but rose 4.1% through the year.
  • The Australian dollar depreciated against the United Sates dollar.
  • The exchange rate had an upward effect on import and export prices.

Main features

December quarter key statistics

Import price index

  • Rose 0.7% this quarter and 1.4% through the year.
     

Main positive contributors are:

  • Petroleum, petroleum products and related materials (+3.8%),
  • Machinery specialised for particular industries (+1.6%); and
  • Road vehicles (including air-cushion vehicles) (+0.4%).
     

Offsetting falls occurred in:

  • Fertilisers (excluding crude) (-6.5%); and
  • Plastics in non-primary forms (-5.5%).
     

Export price index

  • Fell 5.2% this quarter but rose 4.1% through the year.
     

Main contributors to the fall are:

  • Metalliferous ores and metal scrap (-9.1%),
  • Coal, coke and briquettes (–14.7%),
  • Gas, natural and manufactured (-2.3%).
     

Offsetting rises occurred in:

  • Meat and meat preparations (+6.9%).
     

Exchange rate

  • The Australian dollar depreciated against the United States dollar.
  • This had an upward effect on import and export prices this quarter.
     
 Sep Qtr 19 to Dec Qtr 19Dec Qtr 18 to Dec Qtr 19
 % change% change
Import Price Index all groups
0.7
1.4
Food and live animals
-0.2
4.1
Beverages and tobacco
1.0
3.8
Crude materials, inedible, except fuels
1.6
-7.5
Mineral fuels, lubricants and related materials
3.4
-4.1
Animal and vegetable oils, fats and waxes
4.1
1.9
Chemicals and related products, n.e.s.
-0.7
-3.9
Manufactured goods classified chiefly by material
0.5
3.5
Machinery and transport equipment
0.6
2.6
Miscellaneous manufactured articles
0.1
2.5
Commodities and transactions, n.e.s.
0.8
26.5
Export Price Index all groups
-5.2
4.1
Food and live animals
3.9
8.1
Beverages and tobacco
0.9
9.2
Crude materials, inedible, except fuels
-8.3
23.8
Mineral fuels, lubricants and related materials
-8.4
-18.3
Animal and vegetable oils, fats and waxes
1.0
11.9
Chemicals and related products, n.e.s.
0.1
-0.2
Manufactured goods classified chiefly by material
-1.6
0.4
Machinery and transport equipment
0.2
2.8
Miscellaneous manufactured articles
-0.2
3.3
Commodities and transactions, n.e.s.
0.0
24.8
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Use of price indexes in contracts

Price indexes published by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) provide summary measures of the movements in various categories of prices over time. They are published primarily for use in Government economic analysis. Price indexes are also often used in contracts by businesses and government to adjust payments and/or charges to take account of changes in categories of prices (Indexation Clauses).

Use of Price Indexes in Contracts sets out a range of issues that should be taken into account by parties considering including an Indexation Clause in a contract using an ABS published price index.

Analysis of price changes

Import price index (+0.7%)

Main contributors are:

  • Petroleum, petroleum products and related materials (+3.8%), due to increased global demand amid OPEC-led supply constraints as well as easing trade tensions.
  • Depreciation of the Australian dollar contributing to a small and widespread increase across the Machinery and transport equipment division.
     

These rise were partially offset by falls in:

  • Fertilisers (excluding crude) (-6.5%), due to a fall in global demand amid unfavourable planting conditions.
  • Plastics in non-primary forms (-5.5%), driven by global market slow down and price falls in base materials.
     

Through the year, the Import Price Index rose 1.4%. The main contributors are:

  • Gold, non-monetary (excluding ores and concentrates) (+26.5%)
  • General industrial machinery and equipment, n.e.s., and machine parts, n.e.s. (+6.3%).
     

Major import products

Price movements for Australia's major import products this quarter are:

  • Petroleum, petroleum products and related materials (+3.8%)
  • Road vehicles (including air-cushion vehicles) (+0.4%)
  • Electrical machinery, apparatus and appliances, n.e.s. (+0.8%)
  • Telecommunications and sound-recording equipment and reproducing apparatus and equipment (+0.4%)
  • General industrial machinery and equipment, n.e.s., and machine parts, n.e.s. (+0.2%).
     

Export price index (-5.2%)

Main contributors are:

  • Metalliferous ores and metal scrap (-9.1%), due to increased global supply for iron ore and subdued demand from China.
  • Coal, coke and briquettes (–14.7%), due to abundant global supply of thermal and coking coal amid subdued demand.
  • Gas, natural and manufactured (-2.3%), due to falls in crude oil prices in the September quarter 2019 flowing through to LNG contract prices. Export contract prices for liquefied natural gas are influenced by the international crude oil price with a four to six month lag.
     

These falls were partially offset by rises in:

  • Meat and meat preparations (+6.9%), due to increased global demand for Australian beef and lamb.
     

Through the year, the Export Price Index rose 4.1%. The main contributors are:

  • Metalliferous ores and metal scrap (+27.5%)
  • Gold, non-monetary (excluding ores and concentrates) (+26.3%).
     

Major export products

Price movements for Australia's major export products this quarter are:

  • Metalliferous ores and metal scrap (–9.1%)
  • Coal, coke and briquettes (–14.7%)
  • Gas, natural and manufactured (–2.3%)
  • Gold, non–monetary (excluding gold ores and concentrates) (+0.5%)
  • Meat and meat preparations (+6.9%).
     

Data downloads - time series spreadsheets

Tables 1, 3 and 12. Import price index by SITC, index numbers and percentage changes

Tables 4, 5 and 6. Import price index by balance of payments broad economic categories, index numbers

Tables 7 and 9. Export price index by SITC, index numbers and percentage changes

Tables 10 and 11. Export price index by balance of payments classification of exports, index numbers

Table 13. Import price index by selected HTISC section, index numbers

Tables 14 and 15. Import price index by selected ANZSIC division and subdivision, index numbers

Table 16. Import price index: BEC category, index numbers

Table 18. Export price index by selected AHECC section, index numbers

Table 19. Export price index by selected ANZSIC division and subdivision, index numbers

Data downloads - data cubes

Table 2 import price index, SITC contribution to all groups index

Table 8 export price index, SITC contribution to all groups index

Table 17 export price index, AHECC and ANZSIC contribution to all groups index