Coal predicted to exceed $100 billion annual export mark

Queensland budget

The 2021-22 Australian resources and energy export earnings forecast shows that figures will soar to a record-high of $425 billion.

Minister for Resources and Water Keith Pitt said the latest forecast from the Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources March 2022 edition of the Resources and Energy Quarterly (REQ) is up 12 per cent to the December 2021 projection of $379 billion.

“The March 2022 REQ has found that soaring demand and high prices for Australia’s gas, coal and oil are a key contributor to our record export earnings,” Pitt said.

“In short, our resources sector is knocking it out of the park and underpinning our economic growth, our energy security and our national security.

“Critical global shortages in energy and resource commodities have led to record prices for many of our commodities.

“The REQ notes that with international coal prices at record levels – as the war in Ukraine and the ongoing La Niña weather conditions affect supply and demand – Australia’s combined coal export earnings are forecast to rise to about $110 billion in 2021–22.”

Pitt said coal became the second Australian commodity after iron ore to break through the $100 billion annual export mark.

With the combined lithium, nickel and copper export earnings likely to exceed $23 billion in 2021-22, an increase of 38 per cent to the 2020-21 earnings is expected.

“These record earnings will keep the benefits flowing to all Australians, including through company taxes, the taxes paid by the more than 270,000 people in high paying resources jobs, the more than one million in indirect jobs generated by the sector and the royalties the states and the Northern Territory use to pay for services such as the hospitals, roads and schools across regional Australia,” Pitt said.

The REQ states that the 2022-23 outlook could see resources and energy export earnings easing off record levels to $370 billion as bulk commodity prices return to more stable levels.

However, global uncertainty and strong global demand may see a favourable change in this forecast.

Pitt said these forecasts confirm the importance of Australia’s resources and energy sector to the nation’s economic security.

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