Volatility in met coal and iron ore prices that marked the resources sector last year and threw-out the predictions of the department of Industry, is expected to be absent in the year ahead.
The unseen demand has forced an upward revision of the 2017-18 returns but the optimism stops there.
Exports in the 2018-19 reporting period are expected to be down by $1.4 billion with iron ore predicted to earn $52 billion and coal $44 billion.
At the same time, greater exports of LNG are expected to take up the export earnings slack to the tune of more than $14 billion.
The figures come from the Department of industry’s Resources and Energy Quarterly December 2017 report.
Base metal prices continued to increase in the December quarter and in some cases appear to be in a mini-boom, the report states.
“In particular, zinc prices are now the highest they have been since 2007, aluminium is the highest it has been since early 2012, copper is the highest since 2014 and nickel the highest since 2015.
Strong growth in global industrial production — particularly the manufacturing of stainless steel, vehicles, aluminiumbased packaging — and infrastructure development, particularly in China, has boosted demand for base metals.
Nickel is forecast to be relatively stable, while zinc and copper prices are forecast to decline slightly due to new supply coming online.”
Click here foo download the report.