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Strong outlook for Queensland coal exports

World Coal,

The Bureau of Resources and Energy Economies (BREE) has forecast a positive outlook for the Queensland resources sector, despite the negative activist coal and gas divestment campaign.

BREE report

The BREE report, Resources and Energy Quarterly, provides medium-term commodity forecasts over the period to 2019. The report found that the future prospects for the resources and energy industry remained positive, as economic growth in highly populated emerging economies would sustain increased demand for resources and energy commodities.

Queensland Resources Council CEO, Michael Roche, said the outlook was positive for the sector despite the current downturn in commodity prices and in the face of efforts by environmental activists to undermine one of the leading industries in Queensland.

Mining and resources

Commenting on the outlook, Roche said: “In 2013-14 mining and resources was the key contributor to Australia’s economic growth and although investment in the sector is easing, the report found production has ramped up over the past 12 months.

“BREE projects Australia’s earnings from resources and energy commodities to increase at an average rate of seven percent a year from 2013–14 to total AU$ 274 billion in 2018–19.

Coal exports

“Forecasts for metallurgical and thermal coal exports are up in addition to a strong outlook for alumina and bauxite. Rio Tinto’s Yarwun and Queensland Alumina Limited operations achieved strong production results in the first half of 2014 and higher production rates are anticipated in 2015.”

Despite environmental activists recently declaring the end of coal was on the horizon, the forecasts for both metallurgical and thermal coal were up.

Death of coal?

Roche added: “While economic activist Tim Buckley boldly declared yesterday the death of coal after 2016 this official forecast shows growth in Australian exports of metallurgical and thermal coal through to 2019.

“In particular, the large scale projects being developed in central Queensland’s Galilee Basin by Adani and GVK/Hancock, will significantly increase coal production and exports primarily to the Indian markets.”

Over the medium term, Australia’s thermal coal production is projected to increase at an average annual rate of 3.0% to 291 million tonnes in 2018-19, the report said.

Queensland’s economy

In 2012-13, Queensland’s resources sector generated AU$ 1 in every AU$ 4 of the state’s economy and accounted directly and indirectly for one in every five jobs.

“Our sector delivers the state wealth to create jobs and fund infrastructure such as hospitals and schools through royalties and taxes. This is continuing in the face of continuing campaigns by global activists who are trying to kill off Queensland jobs through litigation and the pressuring of financial institutions,” Roche concluded.

Adapted from press release by Katie Woodward

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