Major trading partners - Calendar year results

China | Japan | Thailand | Malaysia | Singapore | United States of America | Indonesia | Korea | India | Vietnam | Europe


The Territory is geographically located close to major Asian economies including China, Japan, Malaysia, Indonesia and Thailand and, as expected, these are the Territory’s major trading partners. The Territory also relies on goods imports from the United States of America and the European Union, which are also identified as key trading partners.

Please note that some of the main items of trade have been confidentialised by the ABS due to sensitivity of specific commodities and limited sources of goods and merchandise, which makes suppliers easily identifiable.

Map 1: The Territory’s Major Goods Trading Partners, 20171, 2

1  Current prices.
2  This map is produced from various sources. Department of Treasury and Finance cannot guarantee the accuracy, currency or completeness of the information. To be used as a guide only.
3  Excluding special administrative regions (Macau and Hong Kong) and Taiwan.
Source: Department of Treasury and Finance, ABS, International Trade in Goods and Services, Cat. No. 5368.0


In 2017, China overtook Japan as the Territory’s largest export market. During the year, the Territory exported $1.9 billion worth of goods to China, increasing by 41.6% compared to 2016. The main export to China was metalliferous ores and metal scraps, mainly manganese and zinc/lead concentrate. Goods imported from China amounted to $135.0 million, reflecting an increase of 3.8% from 2016, mainly reflecting imports of manufactured metals for the final construction stages associated with the Ichthys LNG project.


In 2017, Japan received about $1.8 billion worth of exports from the Territory, representing a 7.3% increase from 2016, making it the Territory’s second largest export market. The majority of these exports are confidential in nature, however are likely to consist of exports of petroleum, gas and mineral products. Imports from Japan increased by 38.6% in 2017, to a total value of $158 million.


The Territory exported $279.0 million worth of goods to Thailand in 2017, representing an increase of 6.1% from 2016. In 2017, the Territory imported $72 million of goods from Thailand, representing an 87.6% decrease from the previous year. This was largely a result of a reduction in imports of road vehicles and general industrial machinery and equipment predominantly related to the construction of the Ichthys LNG project.


The Territory is a net importer of goods from Malaysia, with imports increasing by 85.3% to $365.0 million in 2017, largely reflecting imports of petroleum fuels. Exports to Malaysia increased substantially by 145.2% to $76.0 million, driven by growth in live cattle and buffalo exports, as well as confidential items, likely consisting of raw petroleum products used in the manufacture of fuel.


In 2017, goods imports from Singapore decreased by 8.1% to $215 million, resulting from a reduction of petroleum and petroleum-related products imported to the Territory. Exports to Singapore increased by 25.0% to $30 million in 2017, mainly driven by an increase of inorganic chemicals, likely consisting of helium and phosphate.

United States of America

The Territory received $182.0 million in imports from the United States of America (USA), representing an increase of 52.9% from 2016. Imports from the USA largely consist of transport equipment and power generating machinery and equipment, mainly related to the construction of major projects. In 2017, the Territory exported $162.0 million worth of goods to the USA, an increase of 18.2 % from the previous year. The majority of exports were confidentialised goods, (which likely consist of metalliferous ores, particularly uranium) as well as meat preparations (boxed beef) from the Livingstone abattoir in the Territory.


The Territory exported $301.0 million worth of goods to Indonesia in 2017, the majority was food and live animals, predominantly live cattle (and buffalo) exports. Growth in this industry has been a result of increased import permits for live cattle by Indonesian authorities. The Territory imports from Indonesia decreased by 33.3% to $8.0 million in 2017, driven by a reduction in imports of manufactures of metals associated with the construction of major projects.


In 2017, Territory exports to the Republic of Korea (Korea) increased by 79.4% to $244.0 million, predominately influenced by an increase in exports of confidential items, which is likely to consist of exports of gas and mineral products. Imports from Korea increased significantly by 101.8% to $111.0 million.


In 2017, Territory exports to India increased by 132.5% to about $193.0 million. Growth in exports largely consisted of a combination of confidential items, which likely includes metalliferous ores, particularly manganese, being an input into steel production, as well as aluminum waste and scraps. Territory goods imports from India totaled about $7.0 million in 2017, mainly consisting of manufactures of metals, generally cast articles of iron and steel for production purposes, as well as electrical apparatus and appliances.


In 2017, Vietnam received about $95.0 million worth of exports from the Territory, increasing by 35.7% from 2016. The majority of exports was for food and live animals, predominantly live cattle and buffalo exports. Territory goods imports from Vietnam totaled $5.0 million, which consisted of a range of transport equipment and electrical machinery apparatus and appliances.

European Union

The European Union consists of 28 member states, including Austria, Belgium (including Belgium Luxembourg), Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France (including the French Antilles), Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands (including the Netherlands Antilles), Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovak Republic, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, and United Kingdom.

In 2017, the Territory exported $125.0 million to the European Union, representing an increase from $73 million in 2016. Exports largely consisted of a range of metalliferous ores and metal scraps to various countries.  Imports from the European Union accounted for 16.8% of Territory total good imports in 2017. The Territory imported $302.0 million from the European Union, a decrease of 44.5% from the previous year ($209.0 million).