Coal, gas drive $1.6 billion increase in Queensland exports

Consumption of coal as an energy source has fallen

Queensland has recorded a $1.6 billion increase in exports over the year to the November quarter 2016, driven by the rising value of hard coking coal and liquefied natural gas exports.

This comes on the back of a Department of Industry, Innovation and Science report which highlighted that higher prices for steel making raw materials and LNG are expected to see Australian earnings increase by 30 per cent to a record $204 billion in the current financial year.

Queensland acting treasurer Bill Byrne said it represented a 12.4 per cent increase in value over the year.

“In the 12 months to November, the value of Queensland’s exports totalled $49.5 billion, what this shows is the significance of Queensland as a major global exporter of key resources and agricultural products,” Byrne said.

Byrne added that higher coal prices are expect to support further growth in export values in the short term, but will not be sustainable in the long term as hard coking coal spot prices began to fall earlier this month.

With the final two LNG production trains commencing exports out of Gladstone last year – taking the total number of on-line production trains to six – Byrne said it will “drive economic growth of four per cent in 2016-17”.

Minerals exports however dropped $447 million to $2 billion over the year to November 2016, due to decreases in the value of all major mineral exports.

“While zinc and lead production has fallen over the past year, a strong recovery in zinc prices over 2016 appears to have encouraged additional supply, with Glencore’s zinc production rising 13 per cent in September quarter 2016 compared to the June quarter,” Byrne said.

Aluminium and copper were the only minerals to record an rise in export volumes, though not enough to offset the decline in export prices.