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Australia Trade: These Are The Top Commodity Imports & Exports

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Australia Economy Overview

Australia is the world’s 13th biggest economy in terms of its GDP of almost $1.5 trillion. The latest figures also show the country is the 24th largest exporter and importer in the world, with a positive trade balance of $28.7 billion.

China is Australia’s biggest trade partner, while Japan and the United States are among the country’s top 5 partners for both exports and imports. Coal briquettes top the exports list while refined petroleum is the most imported product.

This guide gives you an overview of Australia’s economy, including the country’s primary imports and exports.

Top Australian Exports

Here is a breakdown of the most important products exported by Australia, both commodities and other notable exports.

Commodity Exports

If you’re interested in trading some of these commodities, you can jump to our list of recommended regulated brokers in at the end of the page.

Other Notable Exports

  • Coal briquettes – $57.2 billion
  • Copper ore – $4.56 billion
  • Frozen bovine meat – $3.91 billion
  • Wheat – $3.23 billion
  • Raw aluminium – $3.23 billion
  • Wool – $2.99 billion

With annual product exports of $248 billion, Australia is the 24th largest export economy in the world.

Iron ore accounts for 19.4% of Australia’s total annual exports. Key export destinations for Australia are China ($87.9 billion), Japan ($27.6 billion), South Korea ($19.2 billion), India ($18.9 billion), and the United States ($9.71 billion).

Top Australian Imports

Here is a breakdown of the most important products imported by Australia, both commodities and other notable imports.

Commodity Imports

  • Refined petroleum – $18.5 billion
  • Crude petroleum – $9.25 billion
  • Gold – $3.85 billion
  • Petroleum coke – $693 million
  • Zinc ore – $649 million

Other Notable Imports

  • Cars – $16 billion
  • Computers – $6.07 billion
  • Broadcasting Equipment – $3.63 billion
  • Delivery Trucks – $5.42 billion
  • Packaged Medicaments – $5.64 billion

GDP of Australia

The GDP of Australia is $1.43 trillion, which amounts to a GDP per capita of $57,374. The country is ranked as the wealthiest nation in the world in terms of average wealth per adult.

From 2008 to 2018, Australia recorded GDP growth of 36%.

australia map
Source: WikiMedia Commons

Details on Australia’s Exports/Imports

Iron Ore

Australia is the world’s leading exporter of iron ore by some margin, enjoying a 50.5% share of the global $95.1 billion market, with their nearest rival, Brazil, being responsible for 21.5% of that annual export total.

The vast majority of Australia’s iron ore exports head to China, who accounts for 80.4% of the country’s exports.


Australia is the fifth-largest exporter of gold in the world and has a 5.28% share of an annual export market that is worth $305 billion.

Hong Kong (38.3%) and China (28.3%) are key export destinations for Australia’s gold, followed by Thailand, who receives 8.56% of the country’s annual output.

Copper Ore

Australia is the third-largest exporter of copper ore in the world and enjoys a 7.1% share of an annual market worth $64.2 billion, with Chile (29.1%), Peru (20.3%) leading the trio of top copper ore exporters.

China imports 43.2% of Australia’s annual copper ore exports and the second-largest destination is Japan (28.9%).

Coal Briquettes

Australia is the leading exporter of coal briquettes with a 40.3% share of an annual export market worth $142 billion. India (25.1%), Japan (24.1%), and China (18.6%) are the top importers of coal briquettes from Australia.

Coal is mined in every state of Australia but the bulk of the production is focused in New South Wales, Queensland, and Victoria.

Did you know? One of Australia’s more unusual exports is the supply of camels to Saudi Arabia.

Interesting Facts About Australia

  • There are more kangaroos in Australia than people.
  • There are also three times as many sheep as humans in the country.
  • 25% of Australia’s residents were born overseas.
  • A large part of Australia is desert and 90% of the population live on the coast.

Interested in Trading Commodities?

Interested in trading gold, iron ore, gasoline, and other important Australian commodities? Start your research with reviews of these regulated brokers available in .

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Also see our guides specific to brokers available in Australia and CFD trading for Australians.

Sources and Further Reading

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