10/09/2008 - 14:37

Record mineral export earnings: ABARE

10/09/2008 - 14:37

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A major boost in the amount and value of iron ore exports has helped lift the nation's export earnings from mineral resources to a record $116 billion in the 2008 financial year, a commodity forecaster has reported.

Record mineral export earnings: ABARE

A major boost in the amount and value of iron ore exports has helped lift the nation's export earnings from mineral resources to a record $116 billion in the 2008 financial year, a commodity forecaster has reported.

The Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics reported iron ore export earnings jumped 31 per cent or $4.8 billion to $20 billion, leading the charge of commodities posting an increase on the previous year.

Crude oil and condesate rose 26 per cent to $10.5 billion, thermal coal up 23 per cent to $8.3 billion and liquified natural gas gained 12 per cent to $5.9 billion.

Overall, export earnings rose 11 per cent on the previous year on the back of higher volumes for most commodities and significantly higher prices for crude oil, LNG, thermal coal, iron ore, copper and gold, ABARE said.

The index of export prices of mineral resources increased by 25 per cent in 2007-08, while the energy export price index increased 54 per cent, ABARE said.

The latter reflected higher oil prices and increased thermal and metallurgical coal contract prices.

Metals and related minerals prices also increased by eight per cent, largely attributable to higher contract prices for iron ore and high world prices for gold, silver, lead and copper.

Production of energy and minerals was steady in 2007-08 with a small rise in metallic minerals compensating for a decline in the production of energy commodities.

"In particular, production of iron ore, silver and zinc increased, while crude oil declined in 2007-08," ABARE's executive director Phillip Glyde said.

ABARE will release revised forecasts of minerals production, exports and prices for 2007-08 and 2008-09 on September 22 in its Australian Commodities report.

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