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.
- Iron ore – $48.1 billion
- Petroleum gas – $17.6 billion
- Gold – $16.1 billion
- Aluminum oxide – $6.66 billion
- Crude petroleum – $5.78 billion
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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.
- 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%.
Details on Australia’s Exports/Imports
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.
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%).
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.
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.
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Sources and Further Reading
- All figures are based on OEC 2018 calculations and projections unless otherwise stated.
- Get Australia’s latest national debt figures, including the debt to GDP ratio.
- See our global economic indicator guide to more than 45 other countries.
- Find out more about the Australian Securities Exchange and its role in global commodities markets.
All currency is reported in US dollars.