Australia said it expects to earn more than $A1 trillion from resources and energy exports in the next five years when annual earnings would level out at between A$212 -216 billion after declining slightly from current levels.
“In 2017-18, we are forecasting the value of Australian resource and energy exports to reach its highest level on record, A$230 billion, in both real and nominal terms,” mark Cully, Chief Economist of the Department of Industry, Innovation and Science, said in the latest quarterly report.
This compares with he average annual export earnings of A$72 billion in the decade prior to the onset of the resources boom, validating the department’s long-held view that the mining boom would continue to reap dividends long after the price peak of 2011, he added.
Commodity prices rallied two years ago and to the surprise of many forecasters, including ourselves, they are yet to unwind a substantial part of these gains. Higher iron ore and coal prices and rapidly growing LNG export volumes have bolstered Australia’s resources and energy export earnings, Cully pointed out.
Over the next few years, the prices of some of Australia’s large resource and energy exports are expected to decline, he said, adding that prices for both iron ore and metallurgical coal – the two biggest resource and energy exports – are expected to be weighed down by increasing supply and declining steel production in China.
“the price of Australian LNG, set by the oil price, is expected to increase modestly, constrained by price-sensitive shale oil production in the United states and sluggish growth in world oil consumption, he forecast.
Meanwhile, the ramp up in export volumes – driven by the mining investment boom – is expected to have run its course by the run of the decade, Cully added.
The last of Australia’s LNG projects is scheduled for completion by the end of the year, while growth in iron ore export volumes will slow for 2018-19.
The story is similar for other key resource and energy export commodities including coal, gold and several base metals. “In this sense, 2020 will mark the end of the remarkable growth phase of the Australian resources and energy sector,” Cully said.