In 2022, Australia’s top 100 imported consumer products attracting the most spending totaled US$171.2 billion. That dollar metric represents 59.1% of the overall value of all Australian imported products ($289.4 billion), up from 57.1% one year prior in 2021.
The 5 most valuable consumer products imported into Australia during 2022 were refined petroleum oils, cars, trucks, mobile phones and computers.
Year over year, the total dollar amount for Australia’s top 100 imported consumer products rose by 20.2% from $171.2 billion in 2021. That percentage outpaces the 16.3% year-over-year upturn encompassing all of Australia’s imported goods.
Expanding the timeline to the past 5 years, Australia’s 100 leading consumer imports appreciated by 34.1% since 2018. Again, that percentage exceeds the 27.1% advance including all Australian imported commodities.
Among the top 100 consumer products imported by Australia, 77 increased in total sales from 2021 to 2022 whereas 23 declined.
Changes in Australian consumer demand for essential imports offer future opportunities for international suppliers who correctly anticipate which upward or downward trends will continue.
Consumer Products Defined
Economics educator BoyceWire defines a consumer product as a final good or end product that a business creates for consumers to buy. For example, consumers often purchase refined petroleum oil at the gas station while imported crude oil is an intermediate good subject to further processing before being sold to end users.
Although there may be a few wealthy individual buyers, products like turbojets are excluded from the consumer products targeted by this study. That is because turbojets are usually purchased by corporations. On the other hand, it is common for a consumer to buy a motorcycle, car or truck.
Types of Consumer Products
This article focuses on 3 distinct consumer product types.
Convenience Products are easy to access, non-durable, have relatively lower prices and therefore consumers frequently purchase them. Examples of convenience products are food, alcoholic or non-alcoholic drinks, and soap.
Shopping Products are not as easily available, involve more time to make a buying decision, are durable and are not bought as often as most convenience products. A great example of a shopping product is a mobile phone where buying an outdated model is a much more expensive mistake than buying a stale loaf of bread.
Specialty Products describe another consumer product type. This grey area includes infrequently purchased, expensive, durable and sometimes rare items. Consumers may consider the product’s brand image when making their purchase decisions. Some examples of speciality products are gold, silver, diamonds, jewelry, and branded refrigerators and dishwashers.
Australian Consumer Imports Smart List
The searchable marketing intelligence table below showcases Australia’s 100 highest-value imported consumer products in descending order. Items were selected at the four-digit Harmonized System tariff classification code level.
The table’s fourth column is labeled YOY for year over year. The fifth column identifies each entry’s consumer product type.
|1||Processed petroleum oils||$37,356,021,000||+95.9%||CP|
|4||Phone devices including smartphones||$8,848,279,000||-2.7%||SP|
|5||Computers, optical readers||$8,586,337,000||+4.6%||SP|
|9||Rubber tires (new)||$2,540,584,000||+7.1%||SP|
|13||Miscellaneous food preparations||$1,624,157,000||-0.2%||CP|
|14||Seats (not barber/dentist chairs)||$1,599,808,000||-0.5%||SP|
|15||Electric storage batteries||$1,589,703,000||+29.4%||SY|
|16||Electrical converters/power units||$1,563,201,000||+7.5%||SP|
|17||Packaged insecticides, herbicides||$1,547,438,000||+27.6%||SP|
|19||Cases, handbags, wallets||$1,511,038,000||+23.5%||SP|
|21||Women's clothing (not knit/crochet)||$1,440,199,000||+14.1%||SP|
|25||Electric water heaters, hair dryers||$1,289,257,000||+4.1%||SY|
|29||Miscellaneous plastic items||$1,181,871,000||-0.6%||CP|
|30||Plastic packing goods, lids, caps||$1,112,797,000||+6.2%||CP|
|34||Miscellaneous iron or steel items||$953,314,000||+10.1%||SP|
|36||Video console games, table games||$901,068,000||+21.1%||SP|
|37||Electric motors, not generating sets||$899,711,000||+30.1%||SY|
|39||Jerseys, pullovers (knit or crochet)||$889,392,000||+6%||SP|
|41||T-shirts, vests (knit or crochet)||$856,403,000||+10.5%||SP|
|43||Bread, biscuits, cakes, pastries||$830,641,000||+3.9%||CP|
|44||Lower-voltage switches, fuses||$823,205,000||+3.2%||SP|
|45||Alcohol (including spirits, liqueurs)||$788,768,000||+19.2%||CP|
|46||Men's suits (unknit/non-crochet)||$767,394,000||+17.3%||SP|
|49||Screws, bolts, washers, hooks, pins||$721,608,000||+10.2%||SP|
|53||Household base metal mountings||$700,725,000||+3.9%||SY|
|54||Miscellaneous textile items||$690,819,000||+14.3%||SP|
|57||Dishwash, clean/dry/fill machines||$613,278,000||-6%||SY|
|58||Women's clothing (knit or crochet)||$604,252,000||+4.7%||SP|
|60||Computer parts, accessories||$580,395,000||-12.7%||SP|
|61||Yachts, canoes, row boats||$575,662,000||+9.6%||SP|
|62||Plastic wares (table, kitchen, toiletry)||$573,662,000||-0.01%||CP|
|64||Other organic cleaning preparations||$533,030,000||+10.8%||CP|
|66||Fish, caviar (preserved/prepared)||$513,184,000||+23.5%||CP|
|67||Unrecorded sound media||$475,305,000||-9.3%||SP|
|68||Sauces, condiments, seasoning||$464,668,000||+6%||CP|
|69||Vulcanized rubber items||$459,098,000||+13.6%||SP|
|70||Chocolate, other cocoa preparations||$440,445,000||-6.1%||CP|
|71||Perfumes, toilet waters||$435,444,000||+20%||CP|
|73||Footwear (rubber or plastic)||$421,572,000||+20.7%||SP|
|74||Electric generating sets, converters||$412,635,000||-2%||SY|
|76||Paper containers, cellulose wadding||$398,815,000||+7.6%||SP|
|77||Sanitary towels, baby napkins/liners||$398,069,000||+6%||CP|
|78||Special hand/machine tools||$376,234,000||+4.3%||SY|
|79||Waters with added sugar||$374,388,000||+0.3%||CP|
|80||Iron/steel stoves, barbecues||$369,773,000||-3.6%||SY|
|83||Wrist/pocket watches (precious case)||$357,495,000||+23.7%||SP|
|84||Plastic tile or roll coverings||$345,630,000||+14.2%||SP|
|85||Men's shirts (not knit or crochet)||$343,184,000||+25.2%||SP|
|86||Wrist/pocket watches (regular case)||$337,324,000||+14.8%||SP|
|87||Miscellaneous aluminum items||$334,432,000||+2.9%||SP|
|90||Soap, organic surface-active goods||$322,648,000||+15%||SP|
|91||Compasses, other navigational aids||$320,848,000||-10.4%||SY|
|92||Printed books, brochures||$315,714,000||-7.9%||SP|
|93||Bicycles, other non-motorized cycles||$311,511,000||+11.3%||SP|
|94||Crustaceans (including lobsters)||$310,262,000||+34.5%||CP|
|95||Other pharmaceutical goods||$308,444,000||+1.3%||SP|
|96||Fish fillets, pieces||$307,960,000||+9.3%||CP|
|97||Women's underwear (knit/crochet)||$307,764,000||+7.6%||SP|
|99||Miscellaneous preserved fruits||$295,699,000||+8.3%||CP|
|100||Iron/steel tables, household items||$283,322,000||-7.8%||SP|
You can peruse the greatest increases or decreases in product values from 2021 to 2022. To do so, click on the heading of the fourth column.
Australia’s most popular product type is shopping products (SD) led by cars, trucks, mobile phones, computers, automobile parts or accessories, then new rubber tires. By dollar amount, shopping products represent just over half (53) of Australia’s top 100 imported consumer goods.
In second place via 24 entries are convenience products (CP) led by processed petroleum oils, medication mixes in dosage, miscellaneous food preparations, miscellaneous items made from plastic, plastic packing goods, lids and caps, then bread, biscuits, cakes and pastries.
Speciality products (SY) have 23 entries on the top 100 list. Examples of speciality products are Australian imports of gold, nitrogenous fertilizers, electric storage batteries, jewelry, then refrigerators and freezers.
Durable consumer products are goods like cars, refrigerators and furniture that last a relatively long time. Consumers can put durable products to use again and again. By product type, note that all shopping products and speciality products are considered as durable consumer products.
Non-durable consumer products (ND) are goods that are not re-used once consumed. Alcoholic beverages and bananas are examples of non-durable goods. Convenience products are uniquely non-durable consumer products.
Based on the product types identified in the above table, 76 of Australia’s highest-value consumer imported products are durable while 24 are classified as non-durable items that are used one time only.
Fastest-Growing Consumer Imports
Listed below are the top 10 consumer products imported into Australia that experienced the highest percentage increases in spending from 2021 to 2022.
- Processed petroleum oils: Up 95.9% (US$37.4 billion)
- Nitrogenous fertilizers: Up 77.9% ($2.34 billion)
- Fertilizer mixes: Up 44.6% ($1.3 billion)
- Potassic fertilizers: Up 38.8% ($300.1 million)
- Vacuum cleaners: Up 35.1% ($628.3 million)
- Crustaceans (including lobsters): Up 34.5% ($310.3 million)
- Coffee: Up 32.2% ($674.7 million)
- Electric motors, not generating sets: Up 30.1% ($899.7 million)
- Silver (unwrought): Up 29.6% ($725.9 million)
- Electric storage batteries: Up 29.4% ($1.6 billion)
Among the above top gainers, 3 items are non-durable consumer goods. These are convenience products, specifically processed petroleum oils, crustaceans including lobsters, and coffee. Consumers typically consider these items as non-durable products commonly referred to as disposable goods and therefore are used only once.
Drilling down, 7 of the durable items are speciality items that require a comparatively longer time to make a buying decision. Falling into the speciality category are fertilizer-related products, vacuum cleaners, electric motors excluding generators, silver and electric storage batteries.
Not one of the top 10 gainers belonged to the shopping products category.
Worst-Declining Consumer Imports
Australia’s spending on the following items decreased at the greatest pace from 2021 to 2022.
- Diamonds (unmounted/unset): Down -16.5% (US$430 million)
- Computer parts, accessories: Down -12.7% ($580.4 million)
- Sports equipment: Down -10.4% ($895.6 million)
- Compasses, other navigational aids: Down -10.4% ($320.8 million)
- Unrecorded sound media: Down -9.3% ($475.3 million)
- Cigars/cigarellos, cigarettes: Down -8.8% ($366.4 million)
- Printed books, brochures: Down -7.9% ($315.6 million)
- Iron/steel tables, household items: Down -7.8% ($283.3 million)
- Chocolate, other cocoa preparations: Down -6.1% ($440.4 million)
- Dishwashing, cleaning, drying, filling machines: Down -6% ($613.3 million)
Two among the Australia’s top declining imports are non-durable convenience products consumed one time only. That pair of decliners is the cigars, cigarellos and cigarettes grouping as well as the chocolate and other cocoa preparations product category.
Diamonds, navigational aids including compasses, and dishwashing, cleaning, drying, and filling machines declined the most for speciality products.
The remaining 5 import decliners are shopping products that normally require more time for shoppers to make buying decisions than typically required for convenience products. That subset of shopping products includes computer parts or accessories, sports equipment, unrecorded sound media, printed books or brochures, and tables or household items made from iron or steel.
Key Suppliers by Country
This analysis reveals competitive suppliers that target Australia’s demand for its top 5 consumer import products.
Australia’s biggest imported consumer product by value is processed petroleum oils. Australia’s 4 other leading consumer imports are cars, trucks, mobile phones, and computers.
Below, you will find major supplying countries for the following Australian imports.
Refined petroleum oils: South Korea (28.8% of total), Singapore (27.8%), Malaysia (9.7%), Taiwan (9%), Japan (7.9%), India (5.2%), Brunei Darussalam (4.9%), mainland China (4.7%), Kuwait (0.5%), and Oman (0.4%).
Cars: Japan (34% of total), South Korea (16%), mainland China (13.1%), Germany (7.8%), United States of America (7.3%), Thailand (6.9%), United Kingdom (2.2%), Mexico (2%), Slovakia (1.7%), and South Africa (1.5%).
Trucks: Thailand (46.2% of total), Japan (20%), United States of America (12.7%), mainland China (5.6%), Mexico (2.3%), Germany (1.5%), France (1.41%), Sweden (1.39%), South Korea (1.34%), and Argentina (1.2%).
Mobile phones: mainland China (62.1% of total), Vietnam (13.7%), United States of America (4.9%), Taiwan (3.8%), Malaysia (3.6%), Mexico (2.1%), Thailand (1.7%), Indonesia (1.2%), Singapore (0.7%), and Germany (0.5%).
Computers: mainland China (71.7% of total), United States of America (5.44%), Malaysia (5.37 q%), Singapore (5.1%), Taiwan (2.3%), Mexico (2.2%), Thailand (1.18%), Hungary (1.15%), Vietnam (0.9%), and Ireland (0.6%).
Independent insights and analysis presented in this article are based on researched facts and statistics sourced from the following educational portals.
BoyceWire, Consumer Goods Definition.
Central Intelligence Agency, The World Factbook: Australia Economy.
International Trade Centre, Trade Map.
Trading Economics, Australia Consumer Spending.
Wikipedia, List of largest consumer markets.
World’s Top Exports, Australia’s Top 10 Imports.