South Australian exports continue to boom amid China turnaround

17 Jan 2023
Demand for South Australian exports continues to rise, as trade ties with the state’s biggest export market – China – pick back up after months of decline.
Local exports hit $15.9 billion in the 12 months to November 2022, up 22 per cent on the previous year – and just shy of the recent record high $16 billion to the year ending October 2022.
Strong prices, good seasons and reduced global supply have led to big increases in our second and third biggest export markets – the United States (up 38 per cent to $1.5 billion) and Malaysia (up 35 per cent to $1.3 billion) – largely driven by refined metals, wine and meat.
Increased demand for canola across Europe led to huge spikes in France (up 595 per cent) and Belgium (up 182 per cent), with both markets turning to SA after previously relying on war-torn Ukraine and drought-affected Canada.
Significantly, exports to China remained steady over the past twelve months at $2.2 billion, following a low of $1.85 billion to the year ending June 2022 – showing a gradual turnaround in trade after tariffs were imposed on products such as wine.
The value of wine exports – SA’s third biggest commodity (up 5 per cent to $1.3 billion) – swung around to growth after boosts in other markets including the US, Canada, Malaysia and Thailand.
Wheat exports were up 60 per cent to $2.2 billion, fuelled by new markets in Sudan and South Korea as well as increases to several existing markets including China.
Global supply pressures also caused the average export price of wheat to increase by 39 per cent from $350 per tonne to $486 per tonne, benefiting local producers.
Agriculture and metal commodities comprise nearly 70 per cent of South Australia’s exports, with demand for copper ores and concentrates still strong following increased supply and growing demand to support global net zero emissions targets.