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Australian exports fall on iron ore prices

Coal

Australia has seen a fall in goods and services exports for September owing to poor iron ore prices, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

From August to September, exports fell $3.08 billion (6 per cent) to just under $45 billion.

‘Metal ores and minerals’ and ‘Metals (excluding non-monetary gold)’ were the biggest decliners month on month, down 16 per cent and 23 per cent in value respectively.

September saw iron ore prices drop below $US100 per tonne for the first time since November 2020, and caused multiple Australian iron ore operations to shut temporarily due to financially unfeasible operations.

The effect of this was clear in the fallen export value, while total trade quantities actually rose from August to September for both iron ore lump (up 2 per cent) and fines (up 7 per cent).

Despite the negative readings, Minister for Resources and Water Keith Pitt was very positive about Australia’s resources and energy sector.

“These latest quarterly figures show Australia’s resources are the gifts that keep on giving,” Pitt said.

“Our resources exports continue to bring hundreds of billions of dollars into the country and keep thousands of Australians in high-value, high-skilled jobs – particularly in regional Australia.

“Just as iron ore’s incredibly strong run cools, soaring demand for our coal and liquefied natural gas is fuelling a surge in export revenues.”

This positivity took a more holistic view on the country’s exports over the last 12 months.

Pitt said Australia had seen strong trade growth since September 2020.

“Total resources and energy exports were $95.9 billion for the three months to September 2021, which is 50 per cent higher than for the same period last year and 11 per cent higher than in the previous three months to June 2021,” Pitt said.

“Resources exports were $332.6 billion in total for the year to September, an impressive 23 per cent higher than the previous 12 months,” Minister Pitt said.

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