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Coal exports underpin Australia's recovery

QUEENSLAND coal exports lifted 130% to $A30.2 billion in the 2008-09 financial year while New South Wales coal exports increased 111% to $12.9 billion, beating all other export categories from both states by a wide margin.

Blair Price
Coal exports underpin Australia's recovery

While Western Australia remains the leading exporter as iron ore and gold prices continue to boom, Queensland clocked 48% growth in exports and surpassed NSW to become the second-largest exporter of the states and territories, according to federal government trade figures released today.

Coal accounted for 46% of Queensland’s total goods and services exports of $65.55 billion.

The state’s coal exports were $27 billion higher than beef exports, which came second for goods exports.

Queensland’s coal exports to Japan increased 123.1% year-on-year to $10.3 billion in 2008-09, and lifted 144% to $3.52 billion to South Korea and 140% to $4.75 billion to India.

The state also exported $1.97 billion of coal to China, with the major coal-producing nation not on the books for any exports in the previous financial year.

Coal accounted for 21% of NSW’s $60.38 billion of total goods and services exports.

NSW coal exports were $6.5 billion higher than the second-biggest export earner for the state, education-related travel.

The state’s coal exports to China were 425% higher year-on-year at $525 million for 2008-09 and exports to Japan were 91.1% higher at $7.52 billion.

NSW coal exports to South Korea increased 178% to $1.62 billion.

"Strong commodity prices, demand from China and Australia’s diversified trade base were factors in the resilient performance of the nation’s exporters in the face of the global economic crisis," federal Trade Minister Simon Crean said.

"The value of exports from Queensland has surged mainly on the back of higher coal prices and an increase in beef exports.

"New South Wales continues to perform strongly with the value of exports still rising by 20 per cent and the state is the nation’s leading services exporter.”

Total Australian exports increased 23% to $283.8 billion in 2008-09.

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