Top 5 Industries That Define The Manufacturing Business In Australia

For decades now, the manufacturing business has been what we would ideally refer to as the backbone of the Australian economy. This is due to the immense contributions the industry brings to the economy of this country. In the financial year closing in 2017, the manufacturing industry was reported to have contributed approximately $100 billion to the country’s GDP. Moreover, this industry has created employment to around 1,000,000 Australians today.

But when we talk about the manufacturing business, which industries are we actually talking about?

Here are the top 5 industries that define the manufacturing business in Australia.


  1. Food and Beverage industry

According to the Australian Trade and Investment Commission, the food and beverage industry is actually the largest employer in Australia. It also delivers up to $20 billion in exports to countries such as the USA, New Zealand, Korea, Japan, and China. Moreover, this industry has created employment for over 400,000 Australians. This has made the sector a stronghold of the country’s long-term employment and economic growth.

  1. Metal industry

The Iron smelting and steel manufacturing industry is another influential part of the manufacturing business in Australia. This industry has faced a lot of challenges recently such as competition from the Chinese steel mills who have been supplying the metal at a cheaper price globally affecting the Australian export. However, the industry is currently doing good domestically following the slow Chinese steel output from 2016-2019. This means that in 2019, experts expect a growth of around 3.2% in this sector.

  1. Motor Vehicle Industry

The ​motor vehicle industry has always given an enormous contribution to the country’s GDP. However, dynamics in the global motor vehicle market has profoundly affected this industry that saw revenue of up to $4 billion and over 7,000 employment opportunities. The signing of free trade agreements with motor vehicle manufacturing countries such as Japan and the change in preference by the local market has resulted in the drop in revenue over the past 5 years. As a matter of fact, in 2017, the industry witnessed the exit of the two main car manufacturing giants; GM Golden & Toyota.

Car Manufacture

  1. Basic organic chemical industry

The chemical industry is yet another top industry in the Australian manufacturing business. The industry manufactures products such as organic acids, charcoal briquettes, industrial alcohols, organic dyes & pigments, organic tanning extracts, and wood tar. Other chemical industries use these products as raw materials in the production of personal care products, coatings, food & beverages, petrochemicals, explosives, plastics, etc.

The revenue by this industry was $715million as recorded in 2018 with over 1,000 employment opportunities created. However, the changing market conditions and competition have resulted in many companies to quit local production. This will definitely affect the annual revenue.

  1. Printing industry

The printing industry has been doing well. As part of the manufacturing business, the industry has seen revenue of around $8 billion and creating over 29,000 job opportunities. However, challenges that have come with the digital migration have seen most of the industry’s market shift to alternative digital equivalents, which are said to be much more effective and less costly. Therefore, a slow decline in the industry’s revenue is expected over the next 5 years.

The above are the top industries that define ​manufacturing business in Australia. This is derived from the revenue, employment opportunities, and the number of firms that have invested in these industries.


Lynne Huysamen

Mommy to a pigeon pair, blogger and online marketer. Lover of chocolate, good books and buckets of coffee.

One Comment

  1. Hello Lynne, it’s very wonderful for you to open our eyes and give us an awareness of the different parts of the industry that is declining and that which is affecting the countries revenue. Although I don’t stay in Australia, I think it is a good thing to be able to learn what you have written here. I hope that the government and do something to revamp this manufacturing industries.

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