Trade Knowledge Exchange > Knowledge > Australia & Trade: A Brief Overview

Australia & Trade: A Brief Overview

Australia’s biggest market for both agricultural and non-agricultural exports is China. China was also Australia’s largest export market for services, constituting 15.8% of the total service exports in 2016. The EU as a bloc is Australia’s second biggest trading partner. Australia has a number of bilateral trade agreements with various countries including the US, New Zealand, Malaysia and Japan, and most recently, China. Negotiations for a EU-Australian FTA are planned.

Total UK imports from Australia have remained fairly constant in value for the past decade, whilst UK exports to Australia have on the whole increased, and the UK has maintained a positive balance of trade for at least the past two decades. In 2015 this was £3.7bn, comprising positive £1.7bn in services, and £2bn trade surplus in goods.

In 2015, Australia was the destination for £4bn of exports of goods from the UK (1.4% of total UK exports by value), and £4.6bn of exports of services. Australia was the source of £1.9bn of imports to the UK of goods, and £2.9bn in services.  The greatest imports of goods from Australia in 2016 was gold (£3.75bn out of a total £5.6bn of goods imported from Australia in that year) and the greatest export of goods destined for Australia from the UK in 2016 was road vehicles (£865m).

The average Australian MFN applied tariff is just 2.5%. The highest average tariff by product type is 4.8% on transport equipment, with 5% tariff on cars.

About the Author

Victoria Mears


Victoria Mears works for Montenero Consulting, which is working with the TKE partners to develop the Trade Knowledge Exchange.
Victoria has a Masters in Environment & Development from LSE, and a Bachelor's Degree in Neuroscience and Psychology from the University of Oxford.