31/03/2009 - 11:36

WA resource sales pass $70bn mark

31/03/2009 - 11:36

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Western Australian mineral and petroleum sales increased 35 per cent in 2008 to be worth $71.8billion, according to figures released this week.

WA resource sales pass $70bn mark

Western Australian mineral and petroleum sales increased 35 per cent in 2008 to be worth $71.8billion, according to figures released this week.

Department of Mines and Petroleum figures show mineral and petroleum exports now represent 89 per cent of the State's total merchandise exports.

Mines and Petroleum Minister Norman Moore said the sales increase of $18.5billion was due to increased output and strong international demand and commodity prices.

"The State's petroleum and iron ore sectors performed particularly well and made up 75 per cent ($53.6billion) of the sales total," Mr Moore said.

"It is encouraging to see WA's resources industry was so strong in the lead-up to the global economic crisis and this will go some way to insulating us against its worst effects."

Iron ore was WA's biggest 2008 earner and accounted for 44 per cent of the overall value of mining and petroleum sales.

At $31.3billion its contribution was a massive 93 per cent increase from 2007. The amount of iron ore sold also broke records, rising 15 per cent to reach 303 million tonnes.

Petroleum achieved a 33 per cent sales increase in 2008 to a value of $22.3billion.

WA's petroleum sector now accounts for 71 per cent of Australia's gas production and 66 per cent of the nation's oil and condensate production.

"These figures highlight the importance of WA's resources sector to both the State and national economies," the Minister said.

"The remarkable 2008 performance was the result of continued demand from WA's major trading partners, in particular China and Japan.

"This strong overseas demand and high commodity prices in the first half of 2008 assisted in counteracting the effect of slowing demand and falling commodity prices in the second half of the year."

The value of liquefied natural gas sales also increased 61 per cent, influenced by high oil prices throughout the year, while alumina rose 4 per cent to reach a record-breaking $4.9billion.

Nickel was one of several commodities to suffer a decrease in sales value, falling by 40 per cent to $4.2billion.

The sales volume of zinc increased by a modest 3 per cent, however the fall in the US dollar price of zinc resulted in a sales value decrease of 24 per cent to $522million.

Mr Moore said the full impact of the global economic crisis on the State's resources industry would be more evident in 2009 figures

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