Record export earnings for Sep quarter

10/12/2008 - 09:12

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Bulk commodities iron ore and coal have largely driven Australia's export earnings to a record $42.6 billion for the September quarter, just before prices took a dive.

Record export earnings for Sep quarter

Bulk commodities iron ore and coal have largely driven Australia's export earnings to a record $42.6 billion for the September quarter, just before prices took a dive.

In the Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics latest mineral statistics, export earnings for metallurgical coal jumped 53 per cent to $9.9 billion while iron ore earnings rose 38 per cent to $9.4 billion.

Thermal coal earnings climbed 37 per cent to $3.8 billion and liquefied natural gas rose 21 per cent to $2 billion.

"The record earnings reflect increased export volumes for most commodities and significantly higher prices for bulk commodities," ABAR executive director Phillip Glyde said.

However, he added that the majority of price falls for commodities had taken place since mid-September therefore the recent collapse of prices were not captured for the report.

Overall, the index of export prices for energy resources increased by 28 per cent, reflecting increased coal prices, while the metals and minerals index rose by 13 per cent, driven largely by higher iron ore prices.

However not all commodities were exposed to higher export earnings with nickel, uranium and petroleum refinery products all down during the quarter.

Earnings for nickel slumped 63 per cent or $603 million to $355 million, uranium fell 13 per cent to $148 million and petroleum dropped 17 per cent to $199 million.


Below is ABARE's statement:

 

Australia's export earnings from energy and mineral resources increased by 22 per cent to a record $42.6 billion in the September quarter 2008, according to ABARE's September quarter 2008 Australian mineral statistics.

"The record earnings reflect increased export volumes for most commodities and significantly higher prices for bulk commodities," said Phillip Glyde, ABARE Executive Director, on releasing the report.

However, Mr Glyde said that as the majority of price falls had occurred since mid-September, the recent collapse in commodity prices was not captured in the report.

The index of export prices of Australian energy and mineral resources increased by 20 per cent in the September quarter. The energy export price index increased by 28 per cent, reflecting increased thermal and metallurgical coal contract prices. Prices for metals and related minerals increased by 13 per cent, largely as a result of higher contract prices for iron ore.

Commodities recording significant increases in export earnings in the September quarter included: metallurgical coal, up $3.5 billion (53 per cent) to $9.9 billion; iron ore, up $2.6 billion (38 per cent) to $9.4 billion; thermal coal, up $1 billion (37 per cent) to $3.8 billion; gold, up $967 million (34 per cent) to $3.8 billion; liquefied natural gas (LNG), up $365 million (21 per cent) to $2 billion; and aluminium, up $237 million (20 per cent) to $1.4 billion.

Commodities recording large declines in export earnings in the September quarter included: nickel, down $603 million (63 per cent) to $355 million; diamonds, down $48 million (30 per cent) to $110 million; petroleum refinery products, down $41 million (17 per cent) to $199 million; uranium, down $23 million (13 per cent) to $148 million; and titanium dioxide, down $17 million (19 per cent) to $73 million.

"Production of around two-thirds of Australia's major mineral and energy commodities increased during the quarter. In particular, diamonds, refined silver, uranium, refined gold and black coal production were all higher," said Mr Glyde.

ABARE will release revised forecasts of minerals production, exports and prices for 2008-09, with an analysis of key factors affecting the outlook, in Australian commodities, to be released on 15 December.

 

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