PERTH (miningweekly.com) – New data by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) has shown that the resources sector continued to support Australia’s economy, with the ABS reporting a trade surplus of more than A$8-billion in April 2021.
Federal Resources Minister Keith Pitt on Friday said that the positive data for April 2021 support upside potential to the March forecast that resources and energy exports would reach a record A$296-billion in 2020/21.
Pitt said the data underscored the strength of Australia’s resources sector and its immunity to the economic challenges impacting other areas of the economy.
“Australia’s resources sector is continuing to exceed expectations. The sector’s growth has been outstanding. In 2016/17, earnings reached above A$200-billion for the first time in nominal terms. Four years later, they are forecast to reach nearly A$300-billion and I expect that we will exceed these forecasts.
“While other sectors of the economy are feeling the economic impact of the coronavirus crisis, there is an increasing demand for our major resources and energy commodities. This is good news for our economic recovery and the thousands of jobs that the sector supports.”
Ongoing demand for iron-ore is driving the record growth, Pitt pointed out, with total iron-ore exports reaching A$39.6-billion in the three months to April 2021, 8% higher than the previous three months.
Coal exports also continued to perform strongly, bringing in A$10.2-billion in the three months to April 2021, a 9% increase on the previous three months.
Liquefied natural gas export earnings also grew by 7% over the same period. In total, Australia’s surging resources and energy export earnings attracted A$77.4-billion in the three months to April.
“Australia’s resources and energy commodities remain in high demand and we expect to see these strong results continue over time,” Pitt said.