Exports: a tale of two states

While South Australia extends a program to boost exports of the state’s making, Queensland’s coffers have been boosted by the post-cyclone recovery of its coal exports.

Queensland: coal rules

The value of Queensland merchandise exports surged 32.2% – or an increase $15.5 billion – in the past year to be $63.4 billion in the 12 months to May 2017, boosted by the recommencement of coal exports following the cyclone.

In the 12-month period until May 2015, total Queensland merchandise exports was $46.5 billion.

“Queensland posted a record calendar for exports in 2016 with $52 billion. We are well on track to post another record this year,” she said.

“Overseas trade supports thousands of local jobs in key industries across Queensland.”

The Premier said growth had been across key markets including Queensland’s top three trading partners – China ($16.5 billion total exports, at an increase of 46%), Japan ($10 billion up 26%) and India ($8.5 billion up 61%).

Treasurer and Minister for Trade and Investment Curtis Pitt said a significant rise in the value of coal exports was the primary driver behind Queensland setting another record export total but exports of some agricultural commodities also rose in value.

“The significant rise was driven largely by an increase in the value of coal exports, primarily hard-coking coal, and to a lesser extent LNG exports.

“This was despite the impacts of TC Debbie which caused significant disruption to coal exports in the May quarter.

“While the volume of coal exports was down by an estimated 13.4 million tonnes compared to a year earlier, the nominal values were supported by a surge in coal prices.”

Mr Pitt said a number of agricultural exports rose in the May quarter compared with the same period last year.

“Crops exports increased $180 million over the year to May quarter 2017 to $474 million, driven largely by an increase in chickpea exports and to a lesser extent wheat,” he said.

“Cotton exports rose $61 million over the year to $188 million in the May quarter.

“The latest data also showed an increase of $385 million in mineral exports over the year to May quarter 2017, rising to $2.3 billion.

“There was a $172 million increase in the value of aluminium exports, particularly alumina,” Mr Pitt said.

South Australia’s Export Partnership Program (EPP)

The Export Partnership Program provides funding assistance for small and medium-sized businesses to access new global markets through marketing and export development opportunities, and has now been opened up to associations as well as individual businesses.

It can help local businesses to:

  • research feasible overseas markets,
  • develop marketing material for distribution overseas,
  • participate in international trade shows, trade missions and overseas business programs,
  • adapt websites for specific international markets,
  • access cultural and export training, mentoring and coaching services, and
  • support incoming buyers.

Successful applicants may receive up to a maximum of $50,000 to assist with export activities. Companies can apply multiple times until they reach the full $50,000 allocation.

Grants of up to $5,000 are also available to aspiring exporters for coaching and mentoring expenses.

Funding is available to South Australian owned and based businesses that have been operational for at least two years and have an annual turnover of more than $100,000.

Must be made in South Australia

  • Eligible applicants must export goods or services that are grown or ‘Made in South Australia’.
  • If goods or services are not made in South Australia, then businesses must prepare a detailed submission outlining the net benefits that the product or service will bring to the state.
  • Goods are considered ‘Made in South Australia’ if the manufacturing process for a business meets those requirements.


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