Australian commodities exports surge to record $300 bln, but set to tumble, ET EnergyWorld

SYDNEY: Australian resource and energy exports climbed 9% to a record A$460 billion ($300 billion) in the financial year just ended, but are forecast to slide over the next two years as some energy prices have dropped back to levels last seen before Russia invaded Ukraine.

A surge in energy prices due to the war in Ukraine plus a buoyant U.S. dollar helped power exports beyond the previous record set a year earlier. But prices have fallen as interest rate hikes slow economic growth across major Western countries and as supply increases.

Australia’s commodities export earnings are set to tumble 15% to A$390 billion this financial year and then to A$344 billion the year after, according to a quarterly government publication.

It expects thermal coal export earnings will slump 40% to A$38 billion this financial year while liquefied natural gas (LNG) exports will slide 27% to A$68 billion.

The resumption of thermal coal exports to China after more than two years of trade blocks will help offset weaker energy demand globally, the report added.

Exports of iron ore – Australia’s most lucrative export – will also trend lower due to falling steel demand in China as the country pivots away from investment-led growth, the report said.

Iron ore exports are set to decline 11% to A$110 billion this financial year and then fall to A$93 billion the year after, the report predicted.

Exports of so-called energy transition metals like lithium and cobalt are forecast to remain over A$40 billion, it said without specifying a timeframe. That’s more than double levels for the fiscal 2022 year.

Australia was well placed for the energy transition “given our rich geological reserves, expertise at extracting minerals and track record as a reliable producer and exporter of energy and resources,” the report said.

($1 = 1.5083 Australian dollars) (Reporting by Lewis Jackson; Editing by Edwina Gibbs)

  • Published On Jul 3, 2023 at 08:41 AM IST

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