Diamond mining set to be Australia’s strongest 2012 industry

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Diamond mining and motor vehicle manufacturing will be the fastest growing industries in Australia in 2012, according to a report by market researcher IBISWorld.

The annual ‘Fly or Fall’ report, which indicates Australia’s strongest and weakest industries, picked iron and steel manufacturing and institutional building to be 2012’s worst performers.

According to IBISWorld while the diamond business had delivered five consecutive years of decline due to low production it was set for a strong comeback this year.

IBISWorld general manager Karen Dobie said the growth would come on the back of lower global prices, a rising Australian dollar, and higher production levels.

Diamond and gemstone mining is set to rake in $599.9 million in 2012, up 36 per cent on 2011’s takings.

Despite the strong Australian outlook BHP Billiton is still looking to sell its Canadian diamond operations, which it says does not fit its business model.

Motor vehicle manufacturing will grow by 14.3 per cent to reach over $11.9 billion as it continues to recover from the global financial crisis.

Environmentally friendly vehicles and a more diverse product range are driving the rise, which is still $5 billion shy of pre GFC levels.

IBISWorld said it expected takings from steel manufacturers to fall 14.9 per cent in the coming year with weak global economic conditions behind the downturn.

"Domestic demand is simply not strong enough to compensate for the rapid declines in international exports – leading industry players to reduce production levels," said Dobie.

“The introduction of the carbon tax in 2012 will provide a motive for many producers to move some or all of their manufacturing offshore to avoid higher tax rates, resulting in lower production and revenue.”

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