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Aussies give stamp of approval to Australian-made goods

Source: Roy Morgan Single Source (Australia), Oct. 2013 - Sep. 2014 (n=16,176) and Oct. 2017 - Sep. 2018 (n=15,009). Respondents were asked to indicate whether they would be more likely or less likely to buy products made in each of the following countries: Australia, Canada, Chile, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Korea, New Zealand, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Thailand, UK, USA. The Top 12 are charted here.
Australians are a patriotic lot and a huge, and growing, majority of Australians say they are more likely to buy goods if they are made in Australia according to the latest data from Roy Morgan.

A huge majority of 90% of Australians aged 14+ say they are more likely to buy products made in Australia up from 88% four years ago. The good news for Australia’s trading partners is that Australians are also more likely to buy goods from most of Australia’s major trading partners than four years ago.

In the year to September 2018, 60% of Australians aged 14+ said they’d be more likely to buy products made in our closest neighbour New Zealand, up 7% points from 2014. However, the biggest improvement in sentiment over the last four years was for products from Canada. Now 54% of Australians aged 14+ are more likely to buy products made in Canada up from 45% four years ago.

Australian consumers are also much more likely to buy products manufactured in other countries that comprise some of Australia’s leading trading partners compared to 2014 including the UK (up from 55% in 2014 to 60% now), the USA (56% to 59%), Germany (48% to 55%), Japan (49% to 55%) and Korea (29% to 33%). All of these five countries are within Australia’s top 10 leading trading partners in 2017/18.

The one notable exception to this trend is with Australia’s largest trading partner overall, including for both imports and exports, China. In the year to September 2018 34% of Australians aged 14+ said they’d be more likely to buy products made in China, down 1% point from four years ago.

% of people more likely to buy products depending on country of origin, 2014 vs 2018

Source: Roy Morgan Single Source (Australia), Oct. 2013 - Sep. 2014 (n=16,176) and Oct. 2017 - Sep. 2018 (n=15,009). Respondents were asked to indicate whether they would be more likely or less likely to buy products made in each of the following countries: Australia, Canada, Chile, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Korea, New Zealand, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Thailand, UK, USA. The Top 12 are charted here.

ChAFTA fails to spur a favourable view of Chinese-made goods

‘ChAFTA’ – the Chinese Australia Free Trade Agreement was signed between Australia & China just over three years ago in 2015 promoting free trade between Australia and its largest trading partner.

A special Roy Morgan telephone poll taken in mid-2015 just after ChAFTA was signed showed 40% of Australians believed a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with China was a good thing, 31% said it was not a good thing, while 29% couldn’t say. There are more details on this poll available to view here.

However, despite the positive sentiment expressed by Australians towards an FTA with China in 2015, Australians are not very keen to buy a range of goods when these goods are labelled ‘Made in China’.

When people surveyed were asked ‘For each of the following products – clothes, food, electrical goods, motor vehicles, sporting goods, wine – would you be more likely to buy it if it was labelled Made in Australia?’ and again for China, the preference for Australian-made goods is overwhelming.

Unsurprisingly it is food and wine which hold the largest advantage as Australian-made products over their Chinese counterparts. 90% of Australians aged 14+ are more likely to buy food made in Australia compared to only 6% that are more likely to buy food made in China while 73% of Australians report they’d be more likely to buy Australian-made wine compared to only 4% that say they’d be more likely to buy Chinese-made wine.

The Chinese-made goods that attract the most support are clothes and electrical goods, although Australian-made versions of these goods are still clearly preferred.

Over a third of Australians (34%) are more likely to buy Chinese-made clothes, although this is less than half the 76% that are more likely to buy Australian-made clothes. Similarly there are 29% of Australians that are more likely to buy Chinese-made electrical goods just fewer than half of the 62% of Australians more likely to buy Australian-made electrical goods.

Incredibly, considering Australia’s automotive manufacturing industry closed down in October 2017, a majority of 52% of Australians say they’d be more likely to buy a motor vehicle if it was made in Australia compared to only 11% of Australians that say they would be more likely to buy a Chinese-made motor vehicle.

% of people more likely to buy each product if it was made in Australia or China

Source: Roy Morgan Single Source (Australia), Oct. 2017 - Sep. 2018 (n=15,009). Respondents were asked to indicate whether they would be more likely or less likely to buy each type of product made in Australia and the same for China.


Michele Levine, CEO, Roy Morgan, says although there are questions about Australia Day as our national day, preference for Australian-made goods is growing when one considers 90% of Australians would be more likely to buy a product that is marked ‘made in Australia’:


“Australian-made products are increasingly preferred by Aussies when they’re out shopping.  90% of Australians are more likely to buy a product that is ‘made in Australia’, up from a very high 88% four years ago. Although these figures are very high across all age groups it is those in Generation X (92%) and Baby Boomers (91%) who are even more likely to prefer Australian-made products than other generations.

“However, although preference for buying Australian-made goods is strong, there is also increasing openness to foreign made products with increasing numbers of Australians more likely to buy goods from several of our largest trading partners including New Zealand 60% (up 7%), UK 60% (up 5%), USA 59% (up 3%) and Japan 55% (up 6%).

“The big exception to this trend is in fact Australia’s leading trading partner China. Australia had trade worth nearly $195 billion with China in 2017/18 – nearly as much as our next three largest trading partners Japan ($78 billion), USA ($70 billion) and South Korea ($52 billion) combined*.

“Although Australia’s trade with China has grown substantially in recent years following the signing of a Free Trade Agreement with China in 2015, Australians are now slightly less likely to say they would buy Chinese-made goods (34% in 2018) than four years ago (35% in 2014). This sentiment is not reflected uniformly though with Chinese born Australians almost twice as likely to say they would buy Chinese-made goods as the average Australian.

“Analysing the different product categories shows that Australians are increasingly likely to say they’d be less likely to buy Chinese-made food, wine, motor vehicles, sporting goods, electrical goods and clothes than four years ago – a clean sweep across all major product categories.

“There’s no doubt concern about Chinese-made goods has been extensively highlighted in the media in recent months. However the evidence of a growing two-way trading relationship is supported by the DFAT figures as well as Roy Morgan’s latest research into the take-up of Chinese-made consumer products. Research released by Roy Morgan late last year showed that the Chinese-made Huawei and Oppo handsets are amongst the fastest growing handsets in the Australian market.”

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About Roy Morgan

Roy Morgan is the largest independent Australian research company, with offices throughout Australia, as well as in Indonesia, the United States and the United Kingdom. A full service research organisation specialising in omnibus and syndicated data, Roy Morgan has over 70 years’ experience in collecting objective, independent information on consumers.

Margin of Error

The margin of error to be allowed for in any estimate depends mainly on the number of interviews on which it is based. Margin of error gives indications of the likely range within which estimates would be 95% likely to fall, expressed as the number of percentage points above or below the actual estimate. Allowance for design effects (such as stratification and weighting) should be made as appropriate.

Sample Size

Percentage Estimate

40%-60%

25% or 75%

10% or 90%

5% or 95%

1,000

±3.0

±2.7

±1.9

±1.3

5,000

±1.4

±1.2

±0.8

±0.6

7,500

±1.1

±1.0

±0.7

±0.5

10,000

±1.0

±0.9

±0.6

±0.4

20,000

±0.7

±0.6

±0.4

±0.3

50,000

±0.4

±0.4

±0.3

±0.2