Dec 04, 2020

Resources sector leading COVID-19 comeback

Resources sector leading COVID-19 comeback

New trade data highlights how Australia’s resources and energy exports are leading the nation’s economy in its comeback from the COVID-19 pandemic.

The value of Australian iron ore exports continued to set new highs, growing by 4.1 per cent in the past month and 43.9 per cent compared to a year ago to earn a record $11 billion for the month.

October trade data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics shows LNG exports rose 21.9 percent compared to September and the value of coal exports were up three per cent on the previous month.

The trade data found coal exports were worth $3.4 billion in October, while LNG exports earned $2.2 billion in October.

“The trade figures show Australia’s resources and energy sector continues to underpin Australia’s economy and lead the country’s comeback as we emerge from the COVID-19 downturn,” Minister for Resources, Water and Northern Australia Keith Pitt said.

“The sector directly employs more than 250,000 women and men and supports more than one million other jobs across the country, many in regional Australia.

“It is the sweat and hard work of Australian workers in the mines, on oil rigs and in the gas fields that continues to support the economy.

“Their work supports our standard of living, and ensures governments can pay for essential services such as hospitals, schools and police.

“While 2020 has been a difficult year for many, with falls in global coal and oil prices, the trade data shows Australia’s resources and energy sector remains resilient and ready to supply the world as global conditions improve.

”Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, Australia’s resources and energy sector has maintained Australia’s strong reputation as an efficient, safe and reliable supplier, helping our trading partners in Japan, Korea and China to keep the lights on.”

Quarterly exploration data released this week was also positive.

Mineral exploration expenditure grew 9 per cent (up $61.6m) in the September quarter 2020 compared to the previous quarter, to $744.9 million.

“Total mineral expenditure for the September quarter 2020 was 3 per cent higher than September 2019, demonstrating the strength of Australia’s mineral exploration, and its strong growth despite COVID-19,” Association of Mining and Exploration Companies (AMEC) chief executive officer Warren Pearce said.