Iron ore, coal and lead export winners: ABARE

AUSTRALIAN mineral exports were mostly unchanged from the September quarter to the December quarter 2007, according to the Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics, with large gains in the value of coal, iron ore and lead exports offset by falls in other base and precious metals.

Kate Haycock

Year-on-year the picture was less rosy, with figures for the December quarter 2007 4% lower than the same period in 2006.


This was partially due to declining metals prices, such as zinc and nickel, but also the stronger Australian dollar and economic uncertainty surrounding the global economy, ABARE said.


The news was good for some commodities, however. The standout performers, yet again, were thermal coal and iron ore. Iron ore and pellets exports rose by 4132 million or 3%, quarter on quarter, to $4284 million, and thermal coal was up $97 million, or 6%, to $1791 million.


Lead exports, meanwhile, were worth an additional $184 million, or 35%, to $709 million.


Meanwhile, the value of gold exports was down 8%, or $228 million, to $2501 million – despite record high gold prices.


Aluminium, also at record highs, fell by 16% to $222 million, or 16%, to $1168 million.


Copper meanwhile recorded a 12%, or $122 million, fall in export figures to $1477 million, while zinc dropped $186 million, or 16%, to $954 million.


Nickel also recorded a double digit drop of 10%, or $142 million, to $1353.