The Resources and Energy quarterly (REQ) contains the Office of the Chief Economist’s forecasts for the value, volume and price of Australia’s major resources and energy commodity exports.

The publication provides:

  • an outlook for global commodity prices, demand and supply
  • up-to-date global production and consumption data
  • forecasts for Australian values, volumes and prices for key resources and energy commodities
  • reviews of relevant topics and issues
  • detailed statistical tables
  • interactive data using Power BI.

Explore the interactive data

Use Power BI to build your own charts and tables. 

Forecast data

Predicted commodity values and volumes

Historical data

Commodity value and volume data dating back to July 2011

Principal markets

Historical commodity data filtered by market

Major projects data

Resources and energy major projects: 2022

Find out about Australia's future mines and resources projects

Overview

Latest developments

Australia’s resource and energy export earnings are forecast to reach a new record of $459 billion in 2022–23.

  • Energy prices have fallen from record highs, on easing fears of Northern Hemisphere winter shortages, but will likely stay above pre-war levels in 2023, as some Russian energy supply becomes stranded.
  • High energy prices and strength in the US dollar are driving a surge in export earnings. After a record $422 billion in 2021–22, resource and energy export earnings are forecast to lift to $459 billion in 2022–23, before falling back to $391 billion in 2023–24.
  • Lithium exports are set to earn $16 billion in 2022–23, becoming our sixth-largest resource and energy export. 

Australia's resource and energy exports by year

This line graph shows the values of Australia's major resource and energy exports from 2020–21 to 2024–25

Macroeconomic outlook

Latest developments

Increasing pessimism about global growth prospects for 2023.

  • The world macroeconomic environment has weakened further over the latter half of 2022, as headwinds from war, inflation and COVID-19 outbreaks weighed on global economic growth.
  • Tighter fiscal and monetary conditions in most major economies – due to strong and persistent inflation, driven by higher energy and food prices – are increasing pessimism about global growth prospects for 2023.
  • In October 2022, the IMF forecast the world economy to grow by 3.2% in 2022 and 2.7% in 2023, down from 6.0% in 2021. The 2023 forecast represented a downward revision of 0.2 percentage points from the previous forecast (published in July 2022).

Contribution of major economies to global GDP

Country Share of global GDP 2021 change
China 19% +8.1%
US 16% +5.7%
EU 15% +6.0%
India 7% +8.7%
ASEAN 6% +3.4%
Japan 4% +1.7%
South Korea 2% +4.1%
Taiwan 1% +6.3%
Australia 1% +4.9%

 

Steel

Latest developments

Global steel production to fall in 2022 on outbreaks of the COVID-19 pandemic in China and faltering demand.

  • World steel output fell 8.7% (quarter-on-quarter) in the September quarter of 2022. Further outbreaks of the pandemic in China have continued to restrain economic growth, compounding frailty in the nation’s property sector. Energy and raw materials shortages have also impacted other major steel producers’ output in recent months.
  • With global economic growth slowing down, major economies are expected to see weaker industrial production and steel demand as we head into 2023. Large infrastructure rollouts across major economies should provide some support for steel demand over the latter half of the outlook period.
  • After a fall of 2.0% in 2022, global steel output is forecast to rise by a little over 1% in 2023 and 2024.

Australian steel refineries

Map showing Australia's 4 steel mills. They are in Port Kembla, New South Wales; Sydney, New South Wales; Whyalla, South Australia and Melbourne, Victoria.

Iron ore

Latest developments

Iron ore prices dip further in December quarter on China’s COVID-19 outbreaks and weaker global steel demand.

  • The average iron ore price has fallen slightly in the December quarter 2022. Further outbreaks of COVID-19 in China have continued to weaken domestic demand, adding to pressures from the country’s residential property market. Ex-China world demand has also waned in recent months, as global construction and industrial activity has slowed.
  • Australian export volumes rose by 1.2% year-on-year in the September quarter of 2022, with greenfield supply continuing to come online from major producers. Exports are forecast to increase by 2.5% in 2022–23 to 896 million tonnes, and by 2.7% to 920 million tonnes in 2023–24.
  • Lower prices over the outlook period are expected to see Australia's iron ore export earnings ease from $133 billion in 2021–22 to $114 billion in 2022–23, and then to $95 billion in 2023–24.

Major iron ore deposits

Map of Australia showing that most iron ore deposits and operating mines are located in Western Australia

Metallurgical coal

Latest developments

Metallurgical coal export earnings have retreated following a strong rise earlier in the year.

  • Metallurgical coal prices have lifted slightly in recent weeks, but remain well below their level of mid-2022, with more decline expected. The Australian premium hard coking coal price is forecast to average US$372 a tonne in 2022, but is expected to fall to around US$220 a tonne by 2024.
  • Higher production in NSW and Queensland is expected to push up Australia’s exports, from 163 million tonnes in 2021–22 to 183 million tonnes by 2023–24.
  • Australia’s metallurgical coal export values are forecast to track with price movements, peaking at $68 billion in 2021–22 before falling back to $45 billion in 2023–24.

Major coal deposits

Map of major Australian coal deposits and mines. Most coal deposits are in Queensland and most operating mines are in New South Wales.

Thermal coal

Latest developments

Australia’s thermal coal export earnings have remained historically high amidst ongoing global supply issues.

  • Thermal coal prices have eased slightly in recent months, but remain elevated amidst ongoing weather disruptions and issues with access to finance and insurance. As more normal conditions return, the Newcastle benchmark price is forecast to ease from an average of US$360 a tonne in 2022, to around US$200 in 2024 (still well above historical averages).
  • A resolution of recent supply disruptions is expected to see Australian thermal coal exports increase from 197 million tonnes in 2021–22 to 203 million tonnes by the end of the forecast period.
  • Record prices are expected to see export values reach $76 billion in 2022–23 before a (price-driven) fall to around $53 billion in 2023–24.

Major coal deposits

Map of major Australian coal deposits and mines. Most coal deposits are in Queensland and most operating mines are in New South Wales.

Gas

Latest developments

Australia’s LNG export earnings rebounded strongly in 2021–22 as prices recovered.

  • Asian LNG spot prices and oil-linked contract prices are expected to remain high over the 2-year outlook.
  • Australian export volumes reached 83 million tonnes in 2021–22, as higher capacity utilisation rates offset technical issues at other plants. Volumes should then fluctuate between 79 and 81 million tonnes over the outlook.
  • Australia’s LNG export earnings doubled from $30 billion in 2020–21 to $70 billion in 2021–22. They are forecast to reach $90 billion in 2022–23, as oil-linked contract prices and Asian LNG spot prices remain elevated. Export earnings are forecast to return to around $81 billion by the end of the outlook period.

LNG projects and gas basins

Map of Australia showing that LNG projects are located in Queensland, the Northern Territory and Western Australia. Their combined nameplate capacity is 88 million tonnes per year

Oil

Latest developments

Australian crude and condensate export earnings continue at record levels through higher prices and strong US dollar.

  • Oil prices are expected to steady in early 2023, before coming down over the outlook period. High uncertainty persists in global oil markets, particularly around the level of demand from China and the impacts of sanctions on Russian crude and refined oil flows. Brent crude oil is forecast to average US$90 a barrel in 2023 and US$77 a barrel in 2024.
  • Australian crude oil and feedstock exports eased to 254 thousand barrels a day (kb/d) in the September quarter, a 19% drop from the previous year. Export volumes are forecast to reach 268 kb/d in 2022–23, before reaching 287 kb/d in 2023–24.
  • Australian oil export earnings remained high at $3.8 billion in the September quarter. Elevated prices and a high US dollar should see earnings reach $15.4 billion in 2022–23. Earnings for 2023–24 are forecast to ease to $13.4 billion, as prices fall from 2022–23 levels.

Crude oil, condensate and LPG resources

Map of Australia showing that around three-quarters of Australia's oil production comes from the Carnarvon Basin offshore Western Australia

Uranium

Latest developments

Uranium prices are rising, with volumes also set to grow.

  • Uranium prices are forecast to lift from US$51 a pound in 2022 to almost US$60 a pound by 2024. This is expected to lead to stronger production from Kazakhstan, Australia, Canada and Namibia.
  • Australian exports are forecast to increase from 4,933 tonnes in 2021–22 to around 5,850 tonnes by 2023–24 as the Honeymoon mine reopens.
  • Price and volume growth is expected to increase uranium export values from $564 million in 2021–22 to around $900 million by 2023–24.

Major uranium deposits

Map of Australia showing uranium deposits and operating mines

Gold

Latest developments

Australia’s gold export earnings forecast to increase to almost $27 billion in 2022–23.

  • Gold prices are expected to average about US$1,798 an ounce in 2022, before falling to an average of US$1,626 in 2024 as monetary policy continues to tighten in advanced economies, and inflation cools.
  • Australian gold mine production in the September quarter 2022 was 5.4% higher year-on-year at 78 tonnes. Fewer gold miners reported production impacts from labour shortages and logistical issues (such as delays to road haulage) related to COVID-19 outbreaks over the quarter. Australian production is forecast to rise from 308 tonnes in 2021–22 to 331 tonnes in 2023–24 as new projects and expansions of existing projects come online.
  • Gold earnings are forecast to rise from $23 billion in 2021–22 to about $24 billion in 2023–24, as rising gold export volumes exceed the forecast decline in gold prices.

Major gold deposits

Map of Australia showing that most major gold deposits are in Western Australia

Aluminium, alumina and bauxite

Latest developments

Australia’s aluminium, alumina and bauxite export earnings to be lower at $14 billion in 2023–24.  

  • Higher primary aluminium supply from China is expected to place downward pressure on aluminium prices over the outlook period, trending lower from an average of US$2,710 a tonne in 2022 to US$2,400 a tonne in 2024. Growing demand for new energy-efficient cars and technologies will provide some support for aluminium prices.
  • Australia’s annual primary aluminium and alumina output is expected to be broadly steady over the outlook period at around 1.6 million tonnes of primary aluminium and 21 million tonnes of alumina. Australia’s annual bauxite output is expected to increase from 105 million tonnes in 2022–23 to nearly 108 million tonnes in 2023–24.
  • The total value of Australia’s aluminium, alumina and bauxite exports is forecast to fall by 4.3% in 2022–23 and by 4.9% in 2023–24 to $14 billion.

Major bauxite deposits

Map of Australia showing the locations of bauxite deposits and mines

Copper

Latest developments

Copper export earnings to fall as prices soften.

  • Copper prices are forecast to fall by 5.7% to below US$8,800 a tonne in 2022, as weak growth and high energy prices weigh on demand. Prices are forecast to fall to US$7,900 a tonne in 2024 as mine production grows.
  • Australia’s copper exports fell to 813,000 tonnes in 2021–22 as scheduled maintenance reduced production. Copper exports are expected to grow to 895,000 tonnes by 2023–24 as production from new mines and mine expansions come online.
  • Weaker prices are forecast to see Australia’s copper export earnings fall to $12 billion in 2022–23, but increased production and export volumes are likely to increase export earnings to $13 billion in 2023–24.

Major copper deposits

Map of Australia showing copper deposits are located in all states

Nickel

Latest developments

Increased production to boost export volumes and earnings.

  • Nickel prices are expected to average US$25,300 a tonne in 2022, boosted by the fallout from the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Prices are expected to ease over the outlook period, as increased (Indonesian) production outweighs rising consumption, particularly in electric vehicle (EV) battery usage.
  • Recent high prices have boosted Australia’s nickel export earnings, which reached $4.4 billion in 2021–22. Export earnings are forecast to rise by 17% to $5.1 billion in 2022–23, before easing by 11% to $4.5 billion in 2023–24.
  • Australia’s export volumes are estimated to rise from 157,000 tonnes in 2021–22 to 188,000 tonnes in 2023–24, supported by the need for Australian nickel for the transition to low-emissions technologies.

Major nickel deposits

Map of Australia showing most nickel deposits and all operating mines are located in Western Australa

Zinc

Latest developments

Entrenched inflation weakens outlook for zinc demand.

  • The London Metal Exchange zinc spot price is estimated to average around US$3,500 a tonne in 2022, with tight supply keeping prices high over the majority of the year. With the macroeconomic environment weakening, prices are forecast to ease, particularly in the first half of the outlook period. Zinc should average about US$3,000 a tonne in 2024.
  • Australia’s zinc production is forecast to rise by 5.2% per year to around 1.4 million tonnes by 2023–24, as output recovers from COVID disruptions, supported by historically high prices.
  • Australia’s zinc export earnings are forecast to peak at $4.7 billion in 2022–23, before easing to $4.6 billion in 2023–24

Major zinc deposits

Map of Australia showing zinc deposits in all states. The largest operating mines are in Queensland and the Northern Territory

Lithium

Latest developments

Lithium exports set to more than triple this year.

  • Spodumene prices are estimated to rise from an average of US$598 a tonne in 2021 to US$2,700 a tonne in 2022, and US$4,000 a tonne in 2023 before moderating to US$3,100 in 2024. Lithium hydroxide prices are expected to lift from US$17,370 a tonne in 2021 to US$39,900 in 2022 and US$61,200 in 2023, moderating to US$48,500 by 2024.
  • Australia’s lithium production is forecast to grow from 335,000 tonnes of lithium carbonate equivalent (LCE) in 2021–22 to 399,000 tonnes in 2022–23 and 470,000 tonnes of LCE in 2023–24.
  • Australia’s lithium export earnings are forecast to more than triple this year — from $4.9 billion in 2021–22 to $16.1 billion in 2022–23, and $17.0 billion in 2023–24.

Major lithium deposits

Map of Australia showing that almost all lithium deposits are located in Western Australia