That is the view from the latest Bureau of Resources and Energy Economics’Resources and Energy Quarterly – December Quarter 2012.
BREE forecast Australia’s resources and energy commodity export earnings of $184 billion for 2012-13, down on the bumper returns of the year before.
“The forecast outlook for 2012-13 is for a substantial increase in the volume of exports for Australia’s bulk commodities – iron ore and coal – relative to 2011-12,” BREE executive director and chief economist Professor Quentin Grafton said.
“However, as a result of a decline in the US dollar price of iron ore and coal from their levels in early 2012, the total value of these exports is expected to decrease.”
The largest increases in volumes are forecast for LNG (up 26%), thermal coal (up 14%), iron ore (up 9%) and metallurgical coal (up 8%).
However, for iron ore and metallurgical coal, forecast lower prices are expected to offset the growth in export volume and result in lower export earnings for them.
“Further growth in Australia’s export earnings from resources and energy will depend on increased volumes,” Grafton said.
“This is because resource commodity prices, with a few exceptions, are not expected to return in real terms to their historic highs of 2011-12.”
This article first appeared in ILN's sister publicaton MiningNews.net.