Australia’s iron ore export values are estimated to have risen from $78 billion in 2018–19 to $103 billion in 2019–20, a government report said, due to strong prices and a low Australian dollar.
However, export earnings are expected to drop to $81 billion by 2021–22.
According to the report, iron ore prices have held up through the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic as a result of supply disruptions in Brazil and surprisingly robust demand in China.
In 2020, the iron ore price is forecast to average about US$79 a tonne free on board (FOB) Australia. Growing supply is expected to reduce the iron ore price to an average of US$65 a tonne by 2022.
Export volumes are expected to grow from an estimated 852 million tonnes in 2019–20 to 915 million tonnes by 2021–22. This reflects the commencement of several new mines in Western Australia, the report added.