Export earnings from resources and energy reached new records in 2010/11, an increase of 9% on the previous records set during the boom of 2008/09.
According to figures from the independent Bureau of Resources and Energy Economics, export earnings topped $175 billion for the financial year.
Federal resources and energy minister Martin Ferguson said this data underscores the importance of the sector to the Australian economy.
“Australia’s economy is incredibly strong and the contribution that investment in the resources and energy sectors makes to our national prosperity should not be underestimated,” Ferguson said.
“Resources and energy exports account for 59% of Australia’s total goods and services exports. The diversified nature of Australia’s resources and energy developments makes the industry as a whole incredibly resilient and today’s figures give us confidence that overall export revenues can be maintained even during trying times.”
The majority of these earnings came from Western Australia, where sales reached the $100 billion mark for the first time ever.
WA mines and petroleum minister Norman Moore said these figures mark a major milestone for the State’s resource sector, which had rebounded strongly since the global financial crisis.
“The 2010-11 figures represent an increase of 39 per cent compared to the previous year, which is particularly significant considering the 12% appreciation of the Australian dollar against the US dollar during the same period,” Moore said.
“Record sales values have also contributed to significant increases in Western Australia’s royalty revenue which was boosted to almost $4.9 billion during the same period.”
This was an increase of 72% for royalty receipts compared to the previous corresponding period.
Moore forecast that the state will receive around $5.8 billion in royalties for the next financial year, which will contribute to almost a fifth of the state’s budget.
“The commitment to ongoing improvement to the approvals process and increased exploration activities supported by the $80 million Exploration Incentive Scheme through the State Government’s Royalties for Regions program has facilitated this growth,” he added.
The majority of this massive increase in Western Australia came from the iron ore, gold, and petroleum sectors, which overall accounted for 88% of all mineral and petroleum sales.
Ferguson added that nationally, “iron ore prices have jumped dramatically with the export value increasing by 56% on the previous year to $54 billion despite export volumes only increasing by 5%.
“These figures are yet another signal to investors that Australia’s resources sector is performing consistently well and rewarding investors with solid financial returns.”