Australian commodity outlook shines into 2030

Demand for Australia’s key mineral and energy commodities is expected to accelerate towards 2030, according to a report commissioned by the Minerals Council of Australia (MCA).

The Commodity Demand Outlook 2030 report outlined the prospects for nine major commodities and their place in Australia’s future economy.

MCA chief executive officer Tania Constable said the report found Australia placed very positively going forward.

“Australia’s world-leading minerals industry is in a strong position for future success by meeting growing global demand for commodities to power growth, energy generation and decarbonisation,” Constable said.

The report wasn’t solely focused on critical future minerals such as copper, aluminium and zinc, but was also headlined by iron ore and metallurgical coal.

According to the report, seaborne iron ore demand should rise slightly by 2030, from 1504 million tonnes (Mt) in 2019 to 1616 Mt in 2030.

Metallurgical coal should have slightly stronger gains, from 295 Mt in 2019 to 365 Mt in 2030.

Constable attributed this to a growth in urban infrastructure.

“Technology-led productivity growth, coupled with rising urbanisation rates, will increase demand for steel – made with iron ore and metallurgical coal – and zinc and copper for housing, factories, city and transport infrastructure,” Constable said.

Critical minerals for renewable and sustainable technology will play a large part over the coming decade, with lithium, aluminium and copper some of the biggest growers.

Lithium demand is expected to grow by more than 300 per cent, from 313,000 tonnes to over 1.4 million tonnes by 2030.

Copper should reach 31.1 Mt in 2030 (up 75 per cent on 2019), while Aluminium will reach 94.7 Mt (up 45.5 per cent).

“Australians are rightly proud of a mining sector which makes a huge contribution to the nation while extracting and processing minerals safely and responsibly,” Constable said.

“This report shows that Australians can be equally confident of a positive outlook on the future demand for our world-class minerals.”

Demand for imported coal was expected to increase by 23.5 per cent by 2030, not to be confused with thermal coal consumption which is expected to decline by 2040.

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