Resources industry digs up export record


Australia’s resources industry has shipped $299.6 billion worth of exports during the 2020-21 financial year, according to new data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

Australia achieved a record-high trade surplus of $89 billion in the same period, with resources contributing its highest ever share of export revenue to the surplus at 66 per cent.

The resources export record was made up of minerals, coal, metals, and oil and gas exports.

Iron ore contributed 33 per cent of total export revenue at a record $151.9 billion.

Iron ore is Australia’s strongest export commodity, and has been strengthened by record demand and prices in the 2020-21 financial year.

In June, metalliferous ores increased by 8 per cent and delivered a fourth consecutive record month.

Metalliferous ores made up almost half of Australia’s export value in the June quarter at $20.49 billion, including $17.55 billion worth of iron ore.

Gold and copper also earned their highest export revenue at $28.4 billion and $11.5 billion respectively.

Coal mining generated $4.1 billion in export revenue for the June 2021 quarter compared with $3.6 billion in the same period last year.

“Australian mining has continued to support the nation’s export and economic success with new records set for total export value and a range of mineral commodities,” Minerals Council of Australia chief executive officer Tania Constable said.

“While metropolitan lockdowns continue to affect our economic growth, Australia’s regional industries like mining are keeping the nation strong and helping to fund the support required for individuals and businesses to get through the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Iron ore major Fortescue Metals Group shipped a record 182.2 tonnes of iron ore in the 2020-21 financial year, including 49.3 million tonnes in the June quarter.

“This was an outstanding performance despite the impact of wet weather, as well as COVID-19 restrictions requiring many of our team members to remain on site for extended periods during WA’s lockdowns,” Fortescue chief executive officer Elizabeth Gaines said in July.

“We greatly appreciate the ongoing cooperation of the entire Fortescue family as we continue to manage the impacts of COVID-19.”

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