Iron ore sees Australian trade set another record: ABS

Port of Dampier

Mineral and metal exports have underpinned a monthly record for the Australian export revenue surplus, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

The ABS’ monthly report on international trade in goods and services shows the goods and services surplus rise above $15 billion in August, as exports rose 4 per cent.

This was aided by strength in iron ore and coal which both saw growth on the previous month.

Iron ore lump export quantities grew by 8 per cent, while fines grew by 5 per cent.

Hard coking coal exports quantities rose by 14 per cent on July figures and semi-soft coal grew by 6 per cent.

Thermal coal was the only one of the ABS’ selected commodities to lose ground (down 3 per cent) in August, after it was the only gain of the group in July.

Minerals Council of Australia (MCA) chief executive officer Tania Constable said these figures highlighted the importance of the sector as the economy recovers.

“Trade data released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics today has highlighted the important role of the mining industry in the Australian economy as we manage the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic,” Constable said.

“In August 2021, Australia exported $33.9 billion of mineral, metal and energy commodities which accounted for 69 per cent of our export revenue and were the foundation of a new record-high trade surplus.”

Iron ore exports remained the country’s most valuable export, rising 52 per cent year-on-year to hit $15.5 billion.

Coal has seen even greater growth, increasing by 74 per cent year-on-year to $5.5 billion.

“Resources export revenue is driving new job-creating investment in mining and its supply chains, paying the wages of 256,000 Australians, and generating tax and royalty revenue when governments need it most,” Constable added.

August’s surplus revenue set a consecutive monthly record after July set its own seasonally adjusted record of $12.1 billion.

Combined exports for thermal and coking coal reached almost $4.7 billion in July, which was 58 per cent higher than July 2020.

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