Australia sees record energy, minerals export receipts

  • : Coal, Coking coal, Metals, Natural gas
  • 21/06/29

Australian export receipts from iron ore, base metals, gold, coking and thermal coal, along with LNG, have been revised almost 5pc higher from the previous quarter for the current 2020-21 fiscal year to 30 June in the latest quarterly outlook report from the Australian government's commodity forecaster. Around 48pc of the receipts will come from iron ore over the period.

More than 80pc of Australian iron ore exports are shipped to China, or just under 40pc of total export receipts, at a time when trade relations between the two countries have deteriorated with China dramatically reducing thermal and coking coal imports from Australia.

Australian coal receipts have been capped by Beijing restricting imports of Australian coal, forcing China to rely on other sources of coking coal, much of which is lower grade and requires more iron ore to produce steel. The coal import ban is part of Beijing's plan to pressure Canberra to ease investment restrictions and to stop commenting on its policies on Hong Kong and minority groups.

Australian exports receipts from energy and minerals are forecast to rise to more than A$310bn ($235bn) in 2020-21, up from the previous forecast of A$296bn made in March, the Office of the Chief Economist (OCE) said in its latest Resource and Energy Quarterly (REQ) report.

The outlook for Australia's mineral and energy exports continues to firm, supported by the global economic recovery and Covid-19 vaccines rollouts, the OCE said.

Iron ore export values are estimated to have risen from A$103bn in 2019-20 to A$149bn in 2020-21 and easing to A$137bn in 2021-22. LNG is estimated to be the second-largest exporter by revenue at an estimated A$32bn in the current fiscal year, A$49bn in 2021-22 and A$46bn in 2022-23.

The record value of iron ore exports in May pushed Australia's goods trade surplus above A$13bn, the Australian Bureau of Statistics said last week.

Australia energy, minerals export revenues (A$bn)
Forecast period2019–202020–21 e2021–22 f2022–23 f
Total energy, minerals exports (June 21)290,778310,222333,803303,526
Energy exports (June 21)115,53283,831115,080108,644
Mineral exports (June 21)175,245226,391218,723194,882
Total energy, minerals exports (March 21)290,778295,981292,457294,324
Energy exports (March 21)115,53281,81699,844107,666
Mineral exports (March 21)175,245214,165192,613186,658
e = estimated, f = forecast

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