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Coal to overtake iron ore as Australia’s largest export for 2018-19

Published by , Assistant Editor
World Coal,

The Department of Industry’s Office of the Chief Economist has released a report which shows that coal is forecast to be Australia’s largest export earner at AUS$58.1 billion in 2018-19. In the same period, iron ore exports are forecast to earn AUS$57.7 billion.

The June 2018 Resources and Energy Quarterly shows coal is expected to earn AUS$60.2 billion in 2017-18 – its highest-ever annual level – including 182 million t or AUS$37.5 billion worth of metallurgical (steel-making) coal and 200.5 million t or AUS$22.7 billion of thermal (energy) coal.

Historically, coal has been Australia’s biggest export earner and the latest forecasts confirm its ongoing resurgence and significant contribution to the Australian economy.

Coal exports are the largest export contributor in both New South Wales and Queensland, and are mostly sold into Asian markets – both established north Asian markets and the rapidly-growing economies of Southeast Asia and India.

The last 12 months have continued to show the market fundamentals for Australian coal are positive, and the high productivity of our coal companies, proximity to major markets and strong regional economic and population growth will continue to underpin coal exports over the long term.

Last month’s release of expert analysis by Commodity Insights for the MCA and the COAL21 Fund forecast import demand for thermal coal alone across Asia could expand by up to 400 million t more than current levels by 2030.

High-quality Australian coal supports both energy production and steel making. The high-energy, low ash qualities of Australian coal ideally match the needs of the many high efficiency low emissions (HELE) coal-fired power plants being built throughout Asia, and our high-grade metallurgical coals are amongst the best in the world for modern steelmaking.

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Australia coal news