Australia’s resource and energy exports are expected to reach a record $379 billion in 2021-22, up from $310 billion in 2020-21, according to the Resources and Energy Quarterly for December 2021.
The report found that high commodity prices, good volume growth and a weak Australian dollar are driving a surge in export earnings.
“These are outstanding results that will provide further jobs and opportunities in our regions and benefit all Australians,” said Minister for Resources and Water Keith Pitt.
“Hundreds of new projects in the pipeline, including 60 new or expanded coal mines, will deliver thousands of new jobs, especially in regional areas.
The report outlines that a stronger outlook for base metals and coal is expected to more than offset the impact on export earnings of the downward adjustment to iron ore price forecasts.
Metallurgical coal prices have held at historic highs for several months, as supply shortages have met strong Chinese demand and rebounding global industrial production.
Australia’s metallurgical coal export values are forecast to surge with recent price movements, rebounding from $23 billion in 2020–21 to a peak of above $50 billion in 2021–22.
Additionally, thermal coal spot prices spiked in October as strong Chinese demand met global supply disruptions and capacity constraints, with the surging prices expected to push export values up to $35 billion in 2021–22.
“Coal is the star performer. Australia’s high-quality coal is finding new markets across Asia, including India, with Australian producers enjoying record price increases across all grades of coal,” Pitt said.
“Australia is set to benefit from a global shortage of energy, with record earnings from thermal and metallurgical coal and LNG.”
As carmakers race to capture the electric vehicle market, lithium exports are expected to overtake zinc in 2022–23, forecast to rise from $1.1 billion in 2020–21 to $4.2 billion in 2022–23.
On a downward trend, iron ore export earnings are expected to fall from a record $153 billion in 2020–21 to $118 billion in 2021–22.
Australia’s mining sector makes up more than half of Australia’s total exports and directly employs approximately 250,000 people.