Report reveals record-breaking resource revenue


Australia’s resources and energy exports are expected to earn a record $349 billion for 2021-22, according to the Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources’ latest report.

The September edition of the department’s Resources and Energy Quarterly forecasts overall export earnings will top the previous record of $310 billion from 2020-21, before falling back to around $299 billion in 2022-23.

According to the report, Australia’s iron ore export earnings are forecast to drop from a record $153 billion in 2020-21 to $132 billion in 2021-22, due to lower global prices.

This is despite export volumes being expected to grow steadily from 868 million tonnes in 2020-21 to 939 million tonnes by 2022-23.

Metallurgical coal exports are forecast to rise from 171 million tonnes in 2020-21 to 186 million tonnes by 2022-23. Revenue is forecast to rebound from $23 billion in 2020-21 to $33 billion in 2021-22.

Minister for Resources, Water and Northern Australia Keith Pitt said the report shows the continued resilience of the resources sector, which remains the backbone of the national economy.

“The sector has gone from strength to strength and is performing better than it was pre-pandemic, further building on Australia’s reputation as a reliable and stable supplier of resources and energy,” Pitt said.

“The forecast export earnings for 2021-22 are close to $100 billion higher than they were a year ago during the peak of the global pandemic and is testament to the outstanding work of all involved in this critically import sector.”

In thermal coal, export values are forecast to rise from $16 billion in 2020-21 to $24 billion in 2021-22, before easing back to $19 billion in 2022-23.

The report found Australia overtook China as the world’s largest gold producing country in the first half of 2021. Gold export earnings are forecast at $29 billion in 2021-22, before a decline to $27 billion in 2022-23.

Lithium export earnings are forecast to increase from $1.1 billion in 2020-21 to $3.8 billion in 2022-23. This will be driven by increased spodumene production and exports of lithium hydroxide after first production occurred in August.

Pitt said the promising outlook for a range of commodities would enable a reliable future for the economy and the mining industry.

“This forecast growth in both export values and volumes will help create further jobs and opportunities in the resources sector, particularly across regional Australia,” he said.

“We should take every opportunity to thank the industry for what it has achieved throughout the COVID outbreak, and to thank the hard-working men and women who are the backbone of the industry.”

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