Vrooom! Oz cars now a top 10 export
Passenger cars have driven into the top 10 of Australian exports for the first time, a new report has found.
Australia exported more than $3 billion worth of cars, up 34 percent, in 2001 – making them the 10th most valuable export for the year.
The Middle East is most enamoured by Australian cars, with Saudi Arabia ($1.4 billion worth of vehicles), the United Arab Emirates ($206 million) and Kuwait ($186 million) among the biggest customers.
The report on the annual composition of trade confirmed Australia's continuing reliance on minerals and rural goods to raise foreign exchange.
Coal exports climbed 34 percent to $12.9 billion last calendar year, while crude petroleum slipped 14 per cent but still accounted for $6.4 billion.
Other major exports included iron ore (up 15 per cent to $5.2 billion), non-monetary gold ($5.1 billion), beef ($4.4 billion), wheat ($4.3 billion), aluminium ores ($4.3 billion) and wool ($3.5 billion).
There were strong gains in other primary industries, including alcohol, which climbed 23 percent to $1.7 billion on the back of strong wine sales, cotton (up 30 percent to $1.9 billion), non-beef meat (up 29 percent to $1.7 billion) and milk and cream (up 16 percent to $1.7 billion).
On the import ledger, Australians bought $8.7 billion worth of overseas cars, an increase of 7 percent.
Crude petroleum imports rose 5 percent to $7.7 billion, while telecommunications equipment imports slumped 21 percent to $5 billion.
Other major imports included computers (down 12 percent to $4.8 billion), medicines ($3.6 billion), computer parts ($2.5 billion), aircrafts and parts ($2.4 billion), car parts ($2.2 billion), transport vehicles ($2.2 billion) and non-monetary gold ($2.2 billion).
Japan continued to be Australia's biggest trade partner, with $39 billion worth of trade between the two nations. Australia enjoyed an $8.5 billion trade surplus with Japan.
You know, somebody actually complimented me on my driving today. They left a little note on the windscreen. It said, 'Parking Fine.'So that was nice.