aussoldNew figures out this week show Australia’s farmers and miners lifted primary exports more than nine per cent in the 2011-2012 financial year, to nearly $200 billion.

The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade’s Trade in Primary and Manufactured Products shows these exports accounted for nearly two-thirds of Australia’s $315.8 billion total.

Overall, exports grew by 6.2 per cent year-on-year in 2011-12.

Commodities such as gold and gas began to play a bigger role in driving export growth, as growth in iron ore and coal exports eased.

Gold exports rose 16 per cent to $15.8 billion in 2011-12, and exports of gas were up 14 per cent to $12.9 billion, with natural gas becoming Australia’s sixth-biggest export.

With the ending of the drought, exports of agricultural products continued their resurgence:

· cereal grain exports (primarily wheat and barley) grew 22 per cent to $8 billion;
· textile fibre exports grew 36 per cent to $5.5 billion, driven by a doubling of cotton exports;
· exports of vegetables, fruit & nuts (fresh, chilled & frozen) were up 28 per cent, from $1.3 billion in 2010-11 to $1.7 billion in 2011-12; and
· exports of cereal preparations (such as malt and milled rice) were up 53 per cent to nearly $800 million.

Engineering products, chemicals and other elaborately transformed manufactures drove Australia’s growth in imports.

Imports of elaborately transformed manufactures as a whole were up 11 per cent, from $140.5 billion in 2010-11 to $156 billion in 2011-12.

Fuel imports grew by 19 per cent, from $33.6 billion to $40.1 billion. from ABC