Territory Stories

Budget Paper No5 Northern Territory Economy 1998/99



Budget Paper No5 Northern Territory Economy 1998/99

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Tabled Paper 382


Tabled papers for 8th Assembly 1997 - 2001; Tabled papers; ParliamentNT




Tabled by Michael Reed


Made available by the Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory under Standing Order 240. Where copyright subsists with a third party it remains with the original owner and permission may be required to reuse the material.




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Preliminary estimates suggest that Northern Territory University has generated $2.6 million from overseas fee-paying students in 1997, an increase of $1.1 million on 1996. Other contributors to the Territorys service exports include international shipping services and insurance services associated with tourism and shipping. IMPORTS The Territorys imports of merchandise goods are estimated to increase markedly to $650 million in 1997-98, a rise of 61% on 1996-97. An increase in imports of transport equipment, machinery and professional controlling instruments were primarily responsible for the recorded increase in Territory imports . The majority of machinery and transport equipment is sourced from Europe and North America. Figure 3.2 provides a breakdown of imports by commodity group. The Territory has traditionally been a capital importing jurisdiction reflecting among other things the capital requirements of the mining industry. This continues to be the case. In 1997-98 imports of machinery and transport equipment were worth $315 million, representing 48% of total imports. With the exception of mineral fuels, imports of all other categories rose during 1997-98. Imports of manufactured goods are expected to rise 84% in 1997-98. The majority of these goods are now sourced from North America after traditionally coming from Japan and Europe. Imports of commodities fell from 15% to 13% of total imports, despite increasing 47% in 1997-98. Due to confidentiality reasons some mineral fuel imports are separately identified while others are not. Imports of identified mineral fuels, primarily from Singapore, continued to decline in 1997-98 and now comprise only 14% of total imports. The Territorys commodity imports in 1997-98 were principally sourced from Europe, as well as from Japan and the United States. Imports from the Middle East, primarily oil, remained steady, as importation from other regions rose. The Middle East is now the source of only 11% of Territory imports. The source countries for imports to the Territory are shown in Figure 3.3. INTERNATIONAL TRADE OUTLOOK The Territorys international trade outlook is somewhat unclear given the uncertainty regarding the depth and length of the Asian economic crisis. The Territory will continue to be a net exporter with Territory mining production expected to grow, as world demand for mineral commodities increases in the medium to long term. Lower world growth, associated with declining incomes in East Asia, is likely to lead to a general depression in commodity prices in the short to medium term. The Territorys major mineral exports are less likely to be effected since only a small proportion of Territory mining exports are directed to East Asia. The development of Jabiluka at a time of rising uranium prices will provide substantial export income over the next few years. The prospects for the Territorys live cattle export industry are also uncertain. Exports reached record levels during 1997 before the East Asian economic crisis impacted, causing a substantial decline in demand. The speed and strength of any recovery depends on the improvement in the economies of countries in South East Asia. Oil production at the Laminaria/Corrallina oil field is expected to start in 1999 and provide substantial export earnings for the Territory for more than a decade. Increasing the diversity of exports and export markets is essential to mitigate the 16 Northern Territory Economy

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