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:

  • A 5-year outlook for global commodity prices, demand and supply
  • up-to-date global production and consumption data
  • forecasts for the production values, export values, volumes and prices of key Australian resources and energy commodities
  • reviews of relevant topics and issues
  • detailed statistical tables
  • interactive data using Power BI.

Download the full report

The report was updated on 24 May 2023 to clarify the scale of India’s coal deposits. 

The forecast data spreadsheet was updated on 19 April 2023 with revised Australian production figures for iron ore. 

Download data tables

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


Latest developments

Australia’s resource and energy export earnings are forecast to reach a new record of $464 billion in 2022–23.

  • Energy commodity prices continue to unwind the war-driven spike of 2022 as markets reorganise. But with China ending its COVID lockdowns, commodity prices should level out in 2023.
  • High energy commodity 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 $464 billion in 2022–23, before falling back over the outlook period.
  • By 2028, the export value of lithium and base metals (and their component inputs) will equal the export value of all coal types.

Australia's resource and energy exports by year

Chart showing the expected outlook for main commodities in dollar terms to 2027–28.

Macroeconomic outlook

Latest developments

Tighter fiscal and monetary conditions are weighing on global economic growth.

  • The deterioration in the world macroeconomic environment eased slightly in early 2023. China has ended COVID lockdowns, inflation has peaked in key markets, and major supply disruptions – related to COVID, the weather and the Russian invasion of Ukraine – have all eased.
  • However, tighter fiscal and monetary conditions in most major economies – aimed at curbing still-high inflation rates – are expected to slow global economic growth over 2023 and early 2024.
  • In January 2023, the IMF forecast the world economy to grow by 2.9% in 2023 and 3.1% in 2024, down from 3.4% in 2022. The 2023 forecast represented an upward revision of 0.2 percentage points from the previous forecast (published in October 2022).

Contribution of major economies to global GDP

Infographic showing major countries' shares of GDP and their share of trade with Australia. Table follows
Country Share of global GDP Economic change 2022  Share of trade with Australia
China 19% +3.0% 30%
US 16% +2.0% 6%
EU 15% +3.2% 9%
India 7% +6.8% 4%
ASEAN 6% +5.3% 10%
Japan 4% +1.4% 12%
South Korea 2% +2.6% 7%
Taiwan 1% +3.3% 4%
Australia 1% +3.6% Not applicable


Latest developments

Global steel production will grow 1.6% in 2023 as the Chinese economy reopens.

  • World steel production fell 3.7% year-on-year in 2022. Outbreaks of the pandemic in China constrained economic activity, exacerbating weakness in the country’s property sector. Energy and raw materials shortages (due to fallout from Russia’s invasion of Ukraine) also hampered other major steel producers’ output.
  • Global steel consumption is forecast to grow 1.6% in 2023. The global economic slowdown is expected to persist this year. However, the reopening of the Chinese economy following eased COVID restrictions should help bolster world steel demand.
  • Extensive infrastructure and non-residential construction activity is expected to support annual growth of 1.5% in world steel demand until 2028. Growth in steel production will be strongest in India, the United States, South-East Asia and the Middle East.

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 have rebounded in early 2023 on an anticipated rise in China’s steel demand this year.

  • Spot iron ore prices rebounded strongly in early 2023 after falling more than 50% in the second half of last year. The higher prices reflect a partial recovery in Chinese steel production and an anticipated rise in China’s steel demand this year, as the economy reopens following the end of the government’s zero-COVID policy.
  • Australian export volumes increased by 1.5% (year-on-year) to 884 million tonnes in 2022. With further greenfield supply expected to come online from established and emerging producers in the next few years, export volumes are forecast to increase by 1.9% annually over the outlook period to 2028.
  • Lower prices projected over the outlook period will see Australia's iron ore export earnings (in real terms) moderate from $121 billion in 2022–23 to around $100 billion in 2023–24 and $75 billion by 2027–28.

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 are expected to remain solid despite a recent decline.

  • Metallurgical coal prices have lifted in recent months, supported by a pickup in global steelmaking. Reduced supply disruptions are expected to moderate price pressures in the short term. The Australian premium hard coking coal price is estimated to fall from an average US$377 a tonne in 2022 to around US$160 a tonne (in real terms) by 2028.
  • Higher production is expected to lift Australia’s exports from 163 million tonnes in 2021–22 to 172 million tonnes by 2027–28.
  • Australia’s metallurgical coal export earnings are forecast to track with price movements, peaking at $72 billion in 2021–22 before falling back to under $30 billion (in real terms) by 2027–28.

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 begun to decline, with global trade now past its peak.

  • Thermal coal prices have eased recently, but remain elevated amid persistent weather disruptions, fallout from the Russian invasion of Ukraine, and thermal coal miners’ difficulty accessing finance and insurance. The price of 6,000 kcal Newcastle coal is expected to decline from US$371 a tonne in 2022 to around $US90 by 2028 (in real terms) as some of these factors ease.
  • Mine closures and openings are expected to largely balance each other over the outlook period, with Australian thermal coal exports sitting at around 195 million tonnes out to 2027–28.
  • Falling prices are expected to see export values ease from the record $65 billion forecast for 2022–23 to a more typical level of around $19 billion in real terms by 2027–28.

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.


Latest developments

Australia’s LNG export earnings reached $91 billion off the back of high prices.

  • LNG prices are forecast to remain elevated and volatile until 2025, as LNG markets remain tight following the stranding of Russian pipeline gas previously destined for Europe. Market conditions are projected to ease after 2026 as new liquefaction facilities in the United States and Qatar ramp up production.
  • Australian export volumes reached 83 million tonnes in 2021–22 as higher capacity utilisation rates offset technical issues at other plants. Volumes should fluctuate between 77 and 81 million tonnes over the outlook period to 2028.
  • Falling energy prices are expected to result in export values easing, from the $91 billion forecast for 2022–23 to a more typical level of around $47 billion in real terms by 2027–28.

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


Latest developments

Electrical vehicle adoption will slow global oil consumption growth.

  • Oil prices are expected to rise in the first half of 2023, averaging US$88 a barrel over the year before coming down over the rest of the outlook period. Global economic growth is expected to stabilise as the energy crisis eases and China lifts pandemic restrictions. The Brent crude price is expected to fall to around US$68 a barrel (in real terms) by 2028.
  • Australia’s crude and condensate production volumes are expected to be relatively steady over the outlook period, reaching around 329,000 barrels a day by 2027–28.
  • Australia’s crude and condensate export earnings are expected to fall (in real terms) from $13.4 billion in 2022–23 to $9.8 billion in 2027–28 as prices decline.

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


Latest developments

Lithium exports are set to more than triple this year.

  • Spodumene prices are estimated to rise to an average US$4,350 a tonne in 2023, up from an average of US$3,110 a tonne in 2022. Prices should then moderate to US$2,760 in 2024 and $2,440 in 2028.
  • Lithium hydroxide prices are expected to lift from US$44,090 a tonne in 2022 to US$61,520 in 2023 before moderating to US$36,220 by 2028.
  • Australia’s lithium production is forecast to grow from 333,000 tonnes of lithium carbonate equivalent (LCE) in 2021–22 to 431,000 tonnes in 2022–23. By 2027–28, LCE tonnage will be 661,000 tonnes, almost double 2021–22 levels.
  • In 2022–23, Australia’s export earnings are forecast to more than triple to $18.6 billion, up from $5.3 billion in 2021–22. They are expected to decline to $11.8 billion in real terms in 2024–25 before picking up to reach $19 billion by 2027–28.  

Major lithium deposits and mines

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


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 above US$60 a pound by 2028 (in real terms). This is expected to encourage stronger production from Kazakhstan, Australia, Canada and Namibia.
  • Australian exports are forecast to increase, from 4,933 tonnes in 2021–22 to almost 8,000 tonnes by 2027–28.
  • Price and volume growth is expected to increase uranium export values, from $605 million in 2021–22 to around $1.2 billion (in real terms) by 2027–28.

Major uranium deposits

Map of Australia showing uranium deposits and operating mines


Latest developments

Australia’s gold export earnings forecast to decrease to about $20 billion in 2027–28.

  • Gold prices averaged US$1,801 an ounce in 2022, with a price surge early in the year reversed by higher bond yields and a strong US dollar in the second half. Prices are forecast to decline from around US$1,800 an ounce in 2023 to US$1,550 an ounce (in real terms) in 2028.
  • Australian gold mine production rose 2.4% to 315 tonnes in 2022. Production is forecast to peak at 336 tonnes in 2024–25 as new projects and expansions of existing projects come online.
  • Gold earnings are forecast to decline from $25 billion in 2021–22 to around $20 billion (in real terms) in 2027–28 as lower prices offset rising export volumes.

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 will reach $16 billion in real terms by 2027–28.

  • Slower world growth is likely to push primary aluminium prices lower in 2023. However, low inventories and growing demand for energy-efficient cars and technologies will see aluminium prices (in real terms) reach a projected US$2,505 a tonne by 2025 before falling to US$2,230 a tonne in 2028.
  • Australia’s primary aluminium output is projected to reach 1.6 million tonnes a year from 2023–24. Over the outlook period to 2028, Australia’s alumina output is projected to remain at about 21 million tonnes a year. Australian bauxite output is projected to reach 119 million tonnes a year by 2027–28.
  • Increased high-purity alumina (HPA) output is expected to add $1 billion a year to Australia’s aluminium, alumina and bauxite exports from 2024–25.

Major bauxite deposits

Map of Australia showing the locations of bauxite deposits and mines


Latest developments

Higher production will grow copper export earnings.

  • Copper prices are forecast to average US$9,000 a tonne in 2022 as new supply meets rising demand. Prices are projected to grow to US$9,200 a tonne (in real terms) in 2028 as demand from the energy transition outweighs future production growth.
  • Australia’s copper exports are projected to grow from 868,000 tonnes in 2022–23 to around 970,000 tonnes in 2027–28, supported by additional production from new mines and mine expansions.
  • As output grows and prices strengthen, Australia’s copper export earnings are projected to grow from $13 billion in 2022–23 to $15 billion (in real terms) in 2027–28.

Major copper deposits

Map of Australia showing copper deposits are located in all states


Latest developments

Increased production will boost export volumes and earnings.

  • Nickel prices are expected to average US$24,200 a tonne in 2023 as increased Indonesian supply cools prices. Prices are expected to ease to around US$19,900 a tonne in real terms in 2028.
  • Recent high prices have boosted Australia’s nickel export earnings, which are forecast to reach $5 billion in 2022–23. Export earnings are projected to fall to $4.2 billion (in real terms) in 2027–28 because of lower realised export prices.
  • Australia’s export volumes are expected to rise from 164,000 tonnes in 2022–23 to 215,000 tonnes in 2027–28 as new supply comes online.

Major nickel deposits

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


Latest developments

Shifting demographics in China slows zinc consumption growth.

  • The London Metal Exchange (LME) zinc spot price is forecast to average around US$3,100 a tonne in 2023. Demand is expected to rebound as China’s economy picks up pace and energy prices ease. The zinc price is expected to fall gradually (in real terms) from just over US$3,000 to around US$2,600 by 2028.
  • Australia’s zinc production is forecast to rise by 2.5% a year to around 1.5 million tonnes by 2027–28. High prices have encouraged more spending on exploration, which will support long-term production growth.
  • Australia’s zinc export earnings (in real terms) are forecast to decline from $4.7 billion in 2022–23 to $3.8 billion in 2027–28 as prices normalise.

Major zinc deposits

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