Asia’s hot demand for Tasmanian products is keeping the state’s export boom on track.
The value of July exports took the 12-month total to a near-record $3.681 billion, at an average of $306.8 million per month.
Those figures were much stronger than the $2.85 billion worth of exports at a monthly average of $237.2 million in the previous year.
Of the $274 million worth of Tasmanian merchandise exports for overseas in July, $252 million worth went to APEC (Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation) nations, including $66 million to mainland China.
Mainland China remained easily the state’s biggest export market, while Hong Kong took a further $11 million worth of Tasmanian goods.
Just $8 million worth went to EU countries (including $4 million worth to the Netherlands), Australian Bureau of Statistics figures released on Thursday showed.
State Treasury analysis released in July showed mainland China took $1.04 billion worth of Tasmanian goods in the year to June, which was 28.3 per cent of total overseas merchandise export value.
Malaysia was second, with $395 million, or 10.7 per cent of export value.
(Export growth) once again outstrips the nation, and is nearly four times higher than the national rate of growth.Will Hodgman
Premier Will Hodgman said the annual export value growth of 29.2 per cent “once again outstrips the nation, and is nearly four times higher than the national rate of growth”.
“Over 80 per cent of Tasmanian goods exports were destined for Asia, with top export segments being mining and mineral products, as well as agriculture and seafood.
”This continued strong growth in exports demonstrates the success of the government’s plan to open up new markets for Tasmanian goods, which will further be enhanced with the 2018 Tasmanian trade mission to Asia to get under way tomorrow.
“By taking Tasmania to the world, we can continue to remain competitive, open up new opportunities in global markets and cement relationships for Tasmanian businesses.
“There’s no doubt that Tasmania has what the world wants and today’s ABS exports figures are more confirmation that our economy is thriving.”
Mr Hodgman said the strong export sector was creating jobs for Tasmanians across a range of industries.
The Reserve Bank sees some global risks which would have potential to affect Tasmania,
“One is the possibility of an escalation in the current trade disputes,” RBA governor Philip Lowe said on Tuesday.
“If this were to happen, it would materially affect trade flows and investment plans around the world.
“As a country that has benefited greatly from an open. rules-based international system, Australia has a strong interest in this not happening.”
The export figures followed ABS national accounts figures released on Wednesday which showed state final demand increased by 3.6 per cent in the year to the end of June.
Tasmanian state final demand grew by 0.9 per cent (the second strongest in the nation) in the June quarter.
Increases in business and dwelling investment and household and government consumption all contributed to the quarterly increase, while government investment dropped back slightly.
State Treasury said business investment increased by 2.9 per cent in the June quarter, due to a 5.6 per cent increase in investment in machinery and equipment.
Private investment in the June quarter was 12.5 per cent stronger than in the June quarter of 2017, and household consumption spending was 2.5 per cent stronger.