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Export volumes remain steady despite earnings drop

Queensland budget

The Department of Industry, Science and Resources’ March 2024 Resources and Energy Quarterly (REQ) is forecasting an 11 per cent drop in earnings but a steady export volume in 2023–24.

The REQ has estimated that earnings may fall to $417 billion from $466 billion recorded in 2022–23 as world economic growth remains soft.

While a drop from the 2022–23 year, the forecast is an improvement from the $408 billion estimated in the December REQ.

“While global prices are easing, the March 2024 Resources and Energy Quarterly shows demand is likely to be sustained for commodities used in low emissions technologies, including iron ore, copper, aluminium and lithium,” Federal Minister for Resources Madeleine King said.

Despite the weaker prices, the March REQ is forecasting a rise in iron ore exports to $136 billion from $124 billion in 2022–23. Copper export volumes are also expected to rise and may see copper export earnings reach $16.8 billion in 2028–29.

“The road to net-zero runs through Australia’s resources sector,” King said.

“Our resources and energy industries support more than 300,000 Australian jobs directly and indirectly, supporting regional communities and our national economy.”

Nickel exports are forecast at $3.6 billion this financial year and $2.4 billion next year compared with $5 billion in 2022–23. Lithium export revenue is also forecast to drop to $11.3 billion from $20.1 billion in 2022–23.

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