11/06/2008 - 09:23

Resource export earnings grow by 6%

11/06/2008 - 09:23

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Australia's export earnings from mineral resources were largely unchanged over the March quarter, with a strong Australian dollar and lower export volumes offsetting stronger commodity prices.

Resource export earnings grow by 6%

Australia's export earnings from mineral resources were largely unchanged over the March quarter, with a strong Australian dollar and lower export volumes offsetting stronger commodity prices.

According to ABARE's issue of Australian Mineral Statistics, export earnings for the 2008 March quarter grew by 6 per cent compared to the same period last year.

The index of energy export prices increased by 5 per cent, reflecting higher world energy prices.

Other commodities to record increases over the quarter include thermal coal, up 16 per cent to $2.1 billion, refined gold gained 15 per cent to $2.9 billion, copper up 13 per cent to $1.7 billion, nickel climbed 10 per cent to $1.5 billion and iron ore up 4 per cent to $4.7 billion.

Meanwhile the index of export prices for metals and minerals declined by 3 per cent, and lower export volumes contributed to a fall in export earnings for some commodities.

Export earnings declined for lead, down 43 per cent to $387 million, uranium shed 34 per cent to $172 million, zinc lost 31 per cent to $651 million, metallurgical coal dropped 12 per cent to $2.9 billion and alumina was down 12 per cent to $1.3 billion.

ABARE's acting executive director Karen Schneider said export volumes fell for some commodities because of a fall in production during the quarter thanks to seasonal heavy rain and cyclones.

"Particularly diamonds, crude oil, natural gas and metallurgical coal were affected," Ms Schneider said.

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