New data from Roy Morgan shows the preference for Australian-made goods increased during the COVID-19 impacted 2020, but fell for goods from Australia’s largest trading partner China.
A huge majority of 93 per cent of Australians said they are more likely to buy products made in Australia – up from 87 per cent a year earlier.
The big ‘loser’ during 2020 was Chinese-made goods with only 21 per cent of Australians saying they’d be more likely to buy products made in China, a nine per cent point drop from 2019.
Australian consumers are more likely to buy goods manufactured in nearest neighbour New Zealand on 55 per cent than any other foreign country, despite a fall of four per cent points from 2019.
Right behind New Zealand is the UK on 51 per cent (down four per cent points), USA on 47 per cent (down seven per cent points), Japan on 46 per cent (down seven per cent points) and Germany on 46 per cent (down seven per cent points).
Of Australia’s top ten two-way trading partners in 2019-20 preferences for goods rose for four countries all in the Asia-Pacific region in 2020 led by Singapore on 34 per cent (up one percentage point on 2019), South Korea on 29 per cent (up one percentage point), Malaysia on 17 per cent (up two percentage points) and India on 17 per cent (up one per centage point).
Overall, of twenty-one countries Australians were asked this question about, preference for goods rose for 10 countries, fell for another ten countries, and was unchanged for only one country – Spain.
Australia and top ten two-way trading partners (2019-20)*: % of people more likely to buy products depending on country of origin, 2019 vs 2020
Commenting on the findings, Roy Morgan CEO Michele Levine commented: “Australian-made products have experienced a surge in support during 2020 with a large majority of 93 per cent of Australians more likely to buy a product that is ‘made in Australia’, up six per cent points from 2019. Less than one per cent of Australians say they are less likely to buy a product that is ‘made in Australia’ unchanged on a year ago.
“The closure of international borders and restrictions on travel around the world appears to have helped increase support for Australian-made goods at the expense of overseas products.
“Unsurprisingly it is Chinese-made goods which have fallen the most in preference and only 21 per cent of Australians say they would be more likely to buy a product that is ‘made in China’ – down nine percentage points from 2019. In addition, a clear majority of 58 per cent of Australians say they would be less likely to buy a product that is ‘made in China’ – up 15 per cent points from 2019.
“Over the last year relations between Australia and China have deteriorated despite the fact over 30 per cent of Australia’s two-way trade valued at $264 billion in 2019/20 is with China. In response to Australian requests for an investigation into the origins of COVID-19 the Chinese Government has slapped tariffs and import restrictions on a range of Australian goods including wine, barley, lobsters, coal, timber, red meat and cotton.
“However, Australia’s largest export to China – iron ore – has remain untouched by any restrictions and the price of the key commodity has surged to a record of over $200 USD per tonne – around $260 AUD per tonne. The surging price of iron ore, and other commodities such as copper, silver and agricultural products, has contributed to record Australian trade surpluses over the last year and supported growth in the Australian economy despite the pandemic.
“Although the preference for Australian-made goods is very high across all age groups it is Baby Boomer (96 per cent) and Generation X (94 per cent) who are even more likely to prefer Australian-made products than other generations.”
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