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Budget Paper No.6 1997/98 Northern Territory Economy



Budget Paper No.6 1997/98 Northern Territory Economy

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Tabled Paper 3223


Tabled Papers for 7th Assembly 1994 - 1997; Tabled papers; ParliamentNT; Tabled Papers




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imports. The 3.5% increase in imports estimated over the year to 1996-97 is significantly lower than the average annual increase of 21.1% over the preceding two years. Australias total merchandise exports during 1996 increased 7.4% to $76.4 billion, an increase which was lower than the previous year and reflective of generally weaker economic conditions experienced over this period by Australias major trading partners. The level of imports, reflecting weaker national economic conditions, increased by only 0.6% to $77.3 billion. As a consequence Australias merchandise trade deficit decreased significantly from $5.7 billion in 1995 to $956 million in 1996. The Territorys imports and exports, by major traded good, are shown in Figure 3.2. The mining industry produces the vast majority of Territory exports, with mineral fuels (oil and gas) and commodities (especially alumina, bauxite, manganese, uranium and gold) accounting for 83% of merchandise exports. It is estimated that the value of Territory exports will increase 3.2% to $1.2 billion in 1996-97. Oil exports are expected to increase by 51.5% from $119.2 million to $180.6 million in 1996-97, while exports of food and live animals are estimated to increase 16.7% to $191.2 million, maintaining the strong growth recorded over recent years. Exports The major destination for Territory exports continues to be Asia, accounting for approximately 63% of Territory exports during 1996-97. Figure 3.3 shows that Japan and China are the dominant markets within Asia, while Indonesia is the single largest destination for Territory exports to South East Asia. Demand for the Territorys commodities and mineral fuels is particularly strong from Japan and China; in 1996-97, 22% (or $274 million) and 15% (or $190 million) respectively of Territory exports of commodities and mineral fuels were to these countries. Demand for food and live animals in the countries of the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN), particularly Indonesia and the Philippines, has increased significantly in recent years and now represents 15.3% of Territory exports. Consequently, the value of food and live animal exports is estimated to total $191.2 million in 1996-97, an increase of 16.7% over the previous year. The increased consumer demand for beef within ASEAN countries is expected to continue, further increasing live cattle exports from the Territory; an estimated 426 000 head of cattle will be exported during 1997, representing an 11.1% increase over the 383 535 head exported in 1996. An important development to have occurred in Territory trade is the increase in exports to countries in Europe. While Territory exports to European nations has averaged 6% over the preceding two years, in 1996-97 this proportion is expected to increase to 15% or approximately $190.2 million. Mineral commodities account for the vast majority of these exports, with principal destinations being Norway, France, Belgium-Luxembourg, United Kingdom and the International Trade 16