WA’s major export trends: markets, commodities, sales

WA’s economy has maintained its export-heavy stature, with goods and services net exports contributing to 50% of the gross state product (GSP) in 2022.

The mining industry accounted for 46% or $186.8 billion of GSP.

Export goods and services

The State’s export goods have maintained an upward trend since 2015, increasing by 9% to $260.8b in 2022. Its surplus in goods trade rose 5% to $214b last year.

WA led  Australia’s exports, accounting for 44% of the value of the country’s export goods in 2022.

WA’s services trade was significantly impacted by international travel restrictions related to the COVID-19 pandemic, particularly in the 2020-21 and 2021-22 financial years.

In 2021-22, the State’s services exports dropped 2% to $4b and had a services trade deficit of $2b in 2021-22, following a $125m services trade surplus to year prior.

WA’s export goods markets

During 2022, nine of WA’s largest trading partners were in Asia, as were eight of its 10 major export markets.

China was WA’s largest export goods market in 2022, valued at $135.9b and with a 52% share. Following was Japan (worth $37b and a 14% share), South Korea (worth $20b and a 7.7% share) and Singapore (worth $13b and a 5% share).

China has been WA’s largest market for export goods since 2006, and the State accounts for 51% of Australian goods exported to China.

Iron ore comprised 75% of WA’s goods exported to China in 2022, followed by lithium (9%) and petroleum (5%).

China is the State’s largest market for iron ore, although iron ore exports to China dropped by 18% to $102b in 2022.

WA’s largest export market for lithium, non-monetary gold and nickel ore in 2022 was also China, and it was the fourth largest market for petroleum. Exports to China increased in 2022 for lithium (from $1.5b to $11.8b), petroleum (up 11% to $7.2b), non-monetary gold (up 3% to $7.2b) and nickel ore (up 39% to $2.8b).

Japan has been WA’s second largest trading partner since 2006. In 2022, WA accounted for 32% of all Australian goods exported to Japan.

Petroleum made up 65% of WA export goods to Japan, followed by iron ore (23%) and nickel ore (3%). Japan is WA’s largest export market for petroleum and exports increased by 108% to $23.9b in 2022.

South Korea, WA’s third largest export goods market, nearly doubled its import goods from WA over the past 10 years.

The main goods exported to South Korea from WA in 2022 were petroleum (47%), iron ore (34%) and wheat (3%).

Of Australia’s total export goods to South Korea, 39% come from WA.

CCIWA’s International Trade and Investment Centre (ITIC) helps businesses reduce the time, cost and risk of going global. Contact the team for a free consultation on (08) 9365 7620 or via [email protected].


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