Queensland reports strong exports ahead of coronavirus impact

Queensland’s resources sector has contributed 80 per cent of the state’s $83.3 billion exports value in the 12 months leading to February this year, according to data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

The $66 billion worth of exports from the state’s resources sector will act as a buffer in the coming months as the economy is set to be impacted by the coronavirus.

“While it’s very encouraging to see the resources sector contributing 80 percent or $66 billion to Queensland’s exports, it’s important we recognise that in the months ahead we’ll see headwinds as slower demand takes hold from a contracting world economy,” Queensland Resources Council chief executive Ian Macfarlane said.

“COVID-19 (coronavirus) impacts were yet to evolve in February. Indeed, the World Health Organisation (WHO) declared a public health emergency of international concern on January 30 and WHO did not declare it a pandemic until March 11.”

Queensland’s exports value maintained a steady rate, only decreasing by 0.1 per cent ($98.6 million) from the previous year.

Coal maintained the largest non-confidentialised export value for the state at $35.1 billion, while minerals exports saw a 6 per cent increase to $8.36 billion.

The state’s largest export destination was China, taking in $28.6 billion of Queensland exports.

“While we are seeing these strong numbers in the first quarter of this year, the industry is watching how our key trading partners in Asia, Europe and North America manage the economic fallout from COVID-19,” Macfarlane said.

“Both the state and federal governments have defined the resources sector as an ‘essential’ industry to keep people working and Treasurer Jackie Trad told ABC Radio last week the resources sector was doing its part by keeping people employed and ensuring revenue is flowing into the state.”

Australia’s overall export value was $388.4 billion during the 12-month period, marking a 10 per cent increase from the previous interval.

Western Australia contributed to almost half of Australia’s overall export value, achieving $180.6 billion, according to the ABS report.

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