Record Australian iron ore and coal exports

Australia's export earnings from energy and mineral resources declined by 2% to A$30.2 billion in the September quarter 2009, with a 10% increase in the value of the Australian dollar against the US dollar a major factor in the decline of export earnings during the quarter, according to ABARE's latest Australian mineral statistics report.

However, export volumes of coal and iron ore reached record levels. “Strong demand for coal and iron ore from Japan, the Republic of Korea and China underpinned record export volumes in the September quarter,” said Dr Terry Sheales, ABARE Deputy Executive Director.

Commodities recording significant increases in export earnings in the September quarter include: liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), up 47% to A$292 million; nickel, up 31% to A$833 million; crude oil and condensate, up 23%  to A$2.1 billion and liquefied natural gas (LNG), up 8% to A$1.7 billion.

However, this was offset by commodities which recorded declines in export earnings in the September quarter including: diamonds, down 22% to A$59 million; gold, down 13% to A$2.7 billion; metallurgical coal, down 11% to A$5.5 billion and thermal coal, down 9% to A$3.2 billion.

Production of around two-thirds of Australia’s major mineral and energy commodities was higher in the quarter. Significant increases in production were observed for diamonds, iron and steel, refined gold, iron ore, mined nickel and coal.