AUSTRALIA’S resources and energy export earnings are forecast to reach an all-time high of $215 billion in 2016–17 and 2017–18, according to the Australian Government’s latest Resources and Energy Quarterly publication.

The quarterly resource sector ‘health check’ research, published by the Office of the Chief Economist, forecasts further price declines but says global demand for Australian commodities will grow.

“Even as prices decline beyond 2016–17, the value of Australia’s resources and energy exports are projected to remain relatively steady. This will be due to the continuation of the production phase of the mining boom — which is not expected to peak until late 2019,” the report said in its foreword.

“Over the next two years, export volumes will continue to grow for iron ore, the base metals, and in coal, but the most important source of growth will be LNG. Australia’s LNG export volumes, which grew by nearly 50 per cent in 2015 –16, are forecast to double in the next three years, as new production capacity comes fully online. Global demand for resource and energy commodities are expected to continue to grow in the next five years — but at a markedly slower rate than in the previous five years.”

Minister for Resources and Northern Australia, Matthew Canavan, said the latest figures was ‘good news’ for the industry, especially as it assesses the impact of Ex-Tropical Cyclone Debbie.

“The latest Resources and Energy Quarterly was completed before the impact of Ex-Tropical Cyclone Debbie. But it shows a strong and resilient industry that continues to underpin our economic growth,” Minister Canavan said.

“It’s also reassuring that separate early assessments show that the Queensland resources sector should be able to absorb the impact of the cyclone.

“While there has been some damage to coal haulage rail lines which transport coking coal to the Dalrymple Bay and Hay Point coal terminals, the majority of mines should be able to stay open and stockpile production.

“At the moment the expectation is they’ll then be in a position to make up for the lost transport time over the next few months.”

The 32 per cent increase in export earnings is expected to come from price spikes in iron ore and metallurgical coal, driven by the resurgence of China’s steel sector, combined with increased LNG export volumes.

Bulk commodity export volumes will also rise as the production phase of the mining boom continues.

Resources and Energy Quarterly is an important publication providing:

  • an overview of the global macroeconomic situation;
  • the most up-to-date global production and consumption data
  • forecasts for Australian volumes and values for key resources and energy commodities;
  • reviews of key topics and issues of relevance to the sector; and
  • detailed statistical tables on world production, consumption, stocks and trade in key commodities as well as detailed information on Australian production and exports over several years.

Learn more here.