Aussie exports to reach record high, says government report

The Department of Industry, Innovation and Science has released its quarterly Resources and Energy report, detailing a rise in the value of Australian projects thanks to iron ore and LNG exports, as well as the tech metal boom.

The report stated that resources and energy export earnings are forecast to grow by 4.9 per cent into 2018, reaching a nominal record of $214 billion thanks to LNG and iron ore exports.

Iron ore exports saw a 31 per cent increase in the 2016–17 financial year to $63 billion, but could fall back down to $52 billion in 2018–19.

In another sizeable jump, LNG exports are expected to increase from $22 billion in the 2016–17 year to $36 billion in the 2017–18 year, and could overtake coking coal as Australia’s second-largest energy export in the same timeframe.

Thermal coal exports, meanwhile, have been performing well and are expected to see a small rise in the 2017–18 year.

The price of oil reached a two-year peak, averaging $76 a barrel during the fourth quarter 2017, and crude oil exports are forecast to increase from $5.5 billion in 2016–17 to $6 billion in 2017–18, a roughly nine per cent increase.

Bolstered by global demand for lithium-ion batteries, tech metals such as nickel, zinc and cobalt have performed well, though nickel production is expected to fall due to recent mine closures.

The full report, Resources and Energy Quarterly December 2017, can be read here.

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