South Australia’s export performance is being questioned as key markets, such as China and India decline, yet agricultural exports are helping South Australia’s overall export performance, as they continue to be the mainstay of the economy.
China continues to act as a drag on South Australia’s export performance with shipments to the key market down by 13.6 per cent to $2.213 billion in the 12 months to April.
A Government spokeswoman said the performance by South Australia’s largest export market was due to the decrease in resource exports and the value of resources/commodities.
The latest Australian Bureau of Statistics data shows the value of South Australia’s overseas goods exports totalled $11.6 billion (up 1.7 per cent) in the 12 months to the end of April, compared with the previous corresponding year.
It compares favourably to New South Wales (up 0.4 per cent), the Northern Territory (down 26 per cent) and Western Australia (down 14 per cent), but unfavourably to Tasmania (up 13 per cent), Queensland (up 6.5 per cent) and Victoria (up 2.1 per cent).
Overall, South Australia’s exports were up $198 million on the previous 12 months, while nationally, the value of goods exports was down $12.5 billion (4.9 per cent) in the same period.
South Australia’s overall export performance was again helped by the State’s agricultural and wine exports; notably, fruit and vegetable exports were up 22 per cent to $562 million.
Acting Minister for Investment and Trade Stephen Mullighan said the trade figures show that strong demand continues for SA products.
Export growth was recorded in the European Union (up 22.4 per cent), United States (10.9 per cent), Canada (63.1 per cent) and ASEAN countries (7.1 per cent), but exports fell to China (down 13.6 per cent), India (- 16.5 per cent), Japan (-12.9 per cent), Hong Kong (-13.2 per cent) and the United Kingdom (-5.5 per cent).
Mr Mullighan said SA was defying the national trend with significant increases in the key areas that our international trade missions have focused on.
“These latest results reinforce the government’s strategic focus on and commitment to grow the state’s premium food and wine, agriculture and advanced manufacturing sectors,” Mr Mullighan said.
But Mr Whetstone said the state was in danger of missing the opportunity in Asia where the people are desperate for high value food and beverages.
“We have closed nine trade offices, while Victoria and New South Wales were opening offices and it’s been to the detriment of our exports,” he said.