PERTH (miningweekly.com) – The latest data by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) has shown the resilience of some of Australia’s key resource exports, as the Covid-19 pandemic continues.
The ABS on Thursday reported that metal ore and mineral exports increased by 32% in March, or some A$2.8-billion, while other mineral fuel exports increased by 10%, or A$485-million, and coal, coke and briquette exports increased by 6%, or A$274-million.
Total resources and energy exports increased by nearly 34% in March compared with the previous month.
Minister for Resources, Water and Northern Australia Keith Pitt said exports were also up by 2% in the first quarter over the same period last year.
“These figures show how important the resources sector is to our economy and resilient it’s been in the face of the Covid-19 pandemic,” Pitt said.
“Total resources and energy exports increased by 2% in the first quarter compared to the same period last year and were valued at A$68.9-billion. Iron-ore remains the star performer of the sector following a 36% monthly increase during March worth A$8.9-billion for the month, a 47% increase on last year.
“While coal exports increased in March by 15.3%, it is down by a similar amount on last year, which is an indication of some of the challenges the Covid-19 has forced on the sector.”
Total coal exports in the first quarter were down by 17.9% on the same period last year, but still valued at A$13.7-billion.
“A decline in steel manufacturing in countries like India and Japan has seen demand for our metallurgical coal fall but it should begin to recover as the global economy shifts back into gear,” Pitt said.
“Liquefied natural gas exports were worth A$4.6-billion in March, an 8% increase on the same month last year, however, the figure for the three month quarter was down by 0.9% on 2019.
“The next three months will bring some challenges but it is clear that resources and energy exports will be a key driver of our post Covid-19 recovery,” the Minister said.