The Northern Territory (NT) is geographically located close to major Asian economies including China, Japan, Malaysia, Indonesia and Thailand and, as expected, these are the NT's major trading partners. The NT also relies on goods imports from the United States of America (USA) and the European Union (EU), 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, 2017-181, 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 2017-18, China remained the NT’s largest export market, after overtaking Japan in 2016-17, with exports increasing 21.5% to $2.1 billion. The main exports to China consisted of confidential items (58.4%), and metalliferous ores and metal scrap (41.1%). Goods imported from China increased by 3.6% to $143 million in 2017-18, predominantly made up of general industrial machinery and equipment (17.2%), confidential items (14.8%), and electrical machinery, apparatus and appliances (10.4%).
In 2017-18, Japan was the NT’s second largest export market with exports increasing 6.3% to $1.8 billion. This reflects a substantial increase in metalliferous ores and metal scrap (up 133.8%). Goods imported from Japan increased by 34.7%, predominantly due to a significant increase in imports of petroleum and petroleum related products, following a decline in the commodity in 2016-17.
The NT exported $282 million worth of goods to Thailand in 2017-18, a 16.5% increase from the previous year, driven by a substantial increase in confidential items (up 128.6%). Imported goods from Thailand declined 76.2% to $68 million in from $286 million in 2016-17. This was largely a result of a reduction in imports of manufactures of metals (down 98.9%), confidential items (down 90.3%), and general industrial machinery and equipment (down 63.8%).
There was a significant increase in the exports of goods to Malaysia in 2017-18 (up 215.6%) to $142 million, driven by increases in confidential items and live animal exports. Goods imported from Malaysia declined by 4.6% to $289 million, mainly the result of lower import levels of petroleum and petroleum related products.
In 2017-18, the NT exported $33 million worth of goods to Singapore. Inorganic chemicals overtook petroleum related products as the most exported good to Singapore during the year. Goods imported from Singapore had a significant increase of 111.3% in 2017-18, totalling $412 million, with petroleum and petroleum related products remaining the predominant import.
The NT exported $158 million of goods to the USA in 2017-18, increasing 17.9% from the previous financial year. Confidential items was the predominant export at $122.9 million (up 25.1% from the previous year). Imports from the USA declined in 2017-18 by 9.4% to $163 million, largely influenced by a significant decline in transport equipment (down 76.6%).
The NT exported $332 million worth of goods to Indonesia in 2017-18, with live animal exports continuing to make up the majority of the market’s total exports from the NT (91.9%). However, these exports were 8.5% less than in 2016-17, potentially attributed to the NT facing increased competition for live animal exports from other regions in Asia, where such exports are relatively more cost-effective. While exports decreased, the value of goods imported increased significantly to $18 million in 2017-18 (up 260.0%), with iron and steel (23.9%), petroleum and petroleum related products (21.3%), and confidential items (15.1%) making up the majority of total imports.
In 2017-18, NT exports to the Republic of Korea (Korea) increased by 24.3% to $261 million, predominately influenced by an increase in confidential items (up 45.7%). Imports from Korea increased 128.8% compared to 2016-17, totalling $135 million. This was the result of a substantial increase in confidential items, which overtook petroleum and petroleum related products as the NT’s top imported good from Korea.
The NT exported $155 million worth of goods to India in 2017-18 (up 23.0% from 2016-17), with confidential items continuing to make up almost all exports to India (99.4%). NT imports from India declined by 14.3% in 2017-18 to $6 million. Total imports from India predominantly consisted of electrical machinery, apparatus and appliances (28.1%), manufactures of metals (27.9%), and confidential items (17.5%).
In 2017-18, Vietnam received $99 million worth of exported goods from the NT, increasing by 30.3% from 2016-17, with live animal exports (76.1%) and confidential items (18.7%) continuing to make up the majority of exports. Goods imported from Vietnam during the year was unchanged at $4 million, with manufactures of metals becoming the primary imported good (23.8%), followed by electrical machinery, apparatus and appliances (21.3%).
The EU 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 2017-18, the NT exported $103 million worth of goods to the EU, a 10.8% increase from 2016-17. Imports from the EU increased significantly in 2017-18 to $300 million (up 49.3%), following a decline in the previous year.