Merchandise imports to the state showed a 1.5% increase over last year’s numbers, but services imports were up 5.3%, with a total increase of 2.3% in the value of imports to Victoria.
The state saw a 23.5% increase in imports of computers – mostly from China – worth $1.3bn this year, over $1bn in imports of the tech equipment last year.
Victorians also imported 14.2% more furniture in 2014-15 than they did the previous year, with furniture imports valued at $1.25bn last year, also mostly from China.
The state’s main merchandise imports were motor vehicles and petroleum, both crude and refined.
Passenger motor vehicle imports were worth close to $6bn in 2014-15. This was a 5.1% increase over last year’s imports, which is similar to the five-year trend of a 5.6% annual increase.
The value of Victoria’s petroleum imports plummeted by about a quarter last year, with crude imports worth $4.8bn last year (a 27.5% decrease over 2013-14), and refined worth close to $2bn (a 23.6% decrease).
However, this drop in value should be considered in the context of the global slump in oil prices – it does not necessarily reflect a decrease in volumes imported.
When it came to services, Victoria’s biggest import was personal travel, accounting for 35% of its services imports.
Freight transport was its second largest services import, with 16.2% of the total or $2.8bn last year.
Almost a quarter of Victoria’s imports came from China, with the state buying $16.1bn worth of goods and services from the country, much of it furniture, textiles, computers, toys and footwear.
Second was the US, as the source of 12.2% of the state’s imports worth $2.8bn, most of it was motor vehicles, engines and vehicle parts
Article by Ian Ackerman
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