It’s been said before but the release of the January international trade data yesterday by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) underlined again a worrying concentration of Australian exports into one market, from one state, and one commodity.
According to this data, the share of total exports to China hit an all-time high of 34% in January, streets ahead of our next biggest export market, Japan (19% share):
It was a similar story for Australia’s biggest export commodity – iron ore – which hit a near record 26% share in January:
Finally, exports from Western Australia hit a near record 52% share in January:
With the exception of South Australia, Western Australia is now single handily holding-up Australia’s trade balance. Queensland has fallen into deficit as coal has slumped:
With increased concentration comes increased risk in the event that the Chinese economy hits an air pocket and/or rising global iron ore supplies depress prices.