The March 2018 edition of the Resources and Energy Quarterly was released today by the Department of Industry, Innovation and Science. The report shows that Australia’s resource and energy export earnings are forecast to reach a record $230 billion in 2017–18, driven by rising LNG exports.
Export values will also benefit from the rally in coal prices due to Chinese output cuts and weather events in Australia. Also propelling exports will growing iron ore export volumes, the recovery in oil prices and a ramp up in condensate exports, and the mini-rally in base metals prices.
This edition of the Resources and Energy Quarterly includes an extended five-year forecast period, with projections for commodity prices, supply, consumption, and Australian production and exports.
The five-year outlook suggests Australia’s commodity export values will stabilise for a time after 2017–18, remaining roughly constant for the subsequent four years before increasingly slightly in 2022–23. Exports are projected to earn more than $1 trillion for the Australian economy over this period.
By the turn of this decade, the investment cycle which ramped up in the late 2000s and peaked in 2012 will have bottomed out, and the heightened production which that investment gave rise to will have levelled off. This effectively marks the end of the mining boom. The legacy of the boom will continue to be reflected for many years to come in high production and export volumes, but future sources of growth will require new exploration and investment activity.