Export facts and figures

New South Wales (NSW) has a diverse export base consisting of agriculture, resources, manufacturing and services.

In terms of their contribution to the state’s economy, NSW’s total goods and services exports have grown by an average 4% per year in real terms (balance of payments basis)1 over the five years to 2015-16, and accounted for a 13% share of Gross State Product (current prices) in 2015-16.

In 2016-17, NSW's merchandise (goods) exports totalled $44 billion on a recorded trade basis.2

NSW dominates the nation’s services trade, accounting for 42% of all Australian services exports in 2015-16 (worth $28.5 billion).

Top four services exports from NSW in 2015-16 included:

  • education-related travel services (including expenditure on goods and services, and education fees), accounting for $7.2 billion or 25% of NSW services exports
  • other personal travel services (predominantly spending by holiday makers), $5.5 billion or 19%
  • professional and management consulting services, $3.4 billion or 12%
  • financial services, $3.0 billion or 10%.

Key trade facts

  • Key drivers of nominal NSW export growth over the past five years include services (mainly travel, financial, professional and management, and computer services), food products (predominantly beef, infant formula, vegetables and fruit), gold and coal.
  • Coal remains the state’s largest export and was valued at around $15.2 billion in 2016-17.
  • Services exports increased by 14% to $28.5 billion in the year to 2015-16, and by 39% since 2010-11 (nominal terms). Services now make up four of the State's top five export categories.
  • Japan remains NSW's top export destination for goods, while the strongest contributions to nominal growth in the state’s goods exports over the five years to 2016-17 were from China, Vietnam, Hong Kong, and the United States3
  • China is NSW's biggest two-way merchandise trading partner. In 2016-17, bilateral trade with China was valued at $6.3 billion.
  • NSW has a financially stable economy. In 2016, the Government's triple-A ratings from both Moody's and Standard & Poor's were reaffirmed.
  • NSW is particularly strong in mining, advanced manufacturing. agribusiness and services sectors for exports.


Source: Australian Bureau of Statistics

1. Adjustments for timing, coverage and valuation are made to recorded trade data by the ABS to convert them to a balance of payments basis for the State Accounts.

2. Merchandise trade statistics are compiled on a recorded trade basis, from information submitted by exporters and importers to the Australian Customs and Border Protection Service, and allow for detailed breakdowns by commodity and country.

3. Country breakdowns by state are not available for services exports.