DHL report indicates Australian exports on the rise

Australian exports are on the rise again, according to a new report by logistics powerhouse, DHL. The company found exporters are becoming more confident about profitability and expect an uptake in orders from overseas.

DHL’s 2014 ‘Export Barometer’ said the strong Australian dollar, international competition and rising raw material costs are not affecting business as negatively anymore as they used to.

The negative effects of the subsiding mining boom also seem to be more manageable than anticipated, according to Tim Harcourt of the University of NSW.

“There are now clear signs the exporter community represents a more diverse group of industry sectors. Some might say we’ve gone from the mining boom to the dining boom with the services exporters most confident they will increase their export orders,” he said.

Of the exporters who were surveyed, over 60 per cent expected orders to increase in the coming year, up from last year’s 58 per cent. They were also more confident about company profitability, with 50 per cent expecting an increase in shipments.

In addition, the Barometer found that services exporters were the most confident in increasing export orders over the next 12 months, followed by agricultural exporters, then manufacturers and miners.

One reason for the new optimism could be that exporters now explore markets beyond China and begin focusing on the rest of Asia and the Middle East.

“Whilst media reports imply we are putting all the export eggs in the China basket, the Barometer clearly shows an overall diversity in our export destinations,” said Harcourt. “In 2014, the Middle East is considered the most promising market, ahead of North America and China.”

According to Harcourt, the Middle East and North Africa region, which has a population of just under 400 million, is a $7.1 billion market for Australia’s merchandise exports, advanced services, research collaboration and technology.

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