Australian resources exports drive record trade surplus

Australia has delivered a record full-year trade surplus of $49.9 billion off the back of impressive results from the nation’s resources sector.

The record export revenue can be attributed to record years for several commodities, including iron ore ($77 billion), coal ($69 billion), aluminium ($15.6 billion) and copper ($9.9 billion).

Iron ore was again Australia’s single largest export revenue for the year, while setting a new record for a single month of exports in June with $9.5 billion.

These results drove Australia’s resources sector to account for 58 per cent of the country’s total export revenue in 2018–2019.

Australia’s resources exports have doubled over the last 10 years, with $250 billion worth of investment in the mining industry delivering substantial growth in minerals production and jobs in that period.

Minerals Council of Australia chief executive Tania Constable said the results highlight the imperative role the resources industry plays in a successful Australian economy.

“This record revenue will sustain Australia’s economic growth and continue to deliver the funding for teachers, nurses, police and other services on which Australians rely on while funding new infrastructure projects to keep Australia moving,” she said.

The results were backed heavily by the performance of Queensland, which broke a monthly exports record of $8 billion in June.

The state’s resources sector brought in $71 billion, or 81.3 per cent of Queensland’s total export earnings for the year.

“Queensland has what the world needs. With stable policy settings, the resources sector can continue to grow and in doing so grow the state’s economy,” Queensland Resources Council chief executive Ian Macfarlane said.

“These figures show Queensland is an exporting powerhouse. Not only do our resources and energy reserves power our own state and supply the gas and electricity that southern states need, but they are also underlining both Queensland and Australia’s strong trading record.”

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