Local exports drop, new data shows

New figures show South Australia recorded a decrease in both exports and imports in November, defying the national trend.

According to Bureau of Statistics, exports fell by 2.7 per cent from October to November while imports dropped 2.3 per cent.

Nationally, exports and imports both increased by one and two per cent respectively.

Business SA's director of policy Rick Cairney says exports have declined by more than 18 per cent since November 2011.

"That's really the result of the impact of the continuing strong Australian dollar," he said.

"Commodity prices are still low and there's high costs with ongoing volatility in international markets.

"China continues to be out largest trading partner, and I know in particular the wine industry has been marketing itself very heavily in China.

"Because of the growing living standard in China, that is a good market." The news comes as the first shipment of mineral sands from a mine at Mindarie in the state's Murray Mallee is sent to China.

Mining company Murray Zircon took over the site last year after the previous owner Australian Zircon went into voluntary administration in 2009.

The mine started to produce heavy mineral concentrate (HMC) last month.

Murray Zircon's chief operating officer Patrick Mutz says the shipment will arrive in China next week where the ores will be sifted.

"Instead of separate the HMC into individual products such as zircon, rutile and ilmenite, we have decided to send that gross product, the concentrate itself, across to China where it is separated in a processing plant for those various products," he said.

He says an accommodation camp for more than 50 of the site's workers that was awaiting final clearance from the Health Department has now been approved.

"We already have some 70 people working at the site which obviously has local effects.

Some of the ones that are working at the site actually live and make their home at Loxton and the nearby area so we have the overall economic effect of employment and then the flow effects to the local economy."

Market Data

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    AUDUSD=X
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    AUDGBP=X
    0.6703-0.0018-0.26%
    AUDEUR=X
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