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Resources remain a strong contributor to the national economy

7 May 2020

Latest export figures have confirmed the resilience of some of Australia’s key resources exports as the COVID-19 pandemic grips the world.

Total resources and energy exports increased by nearly 34 per cent in March compared to the previous month.

Minister for Resources, Water and Northern Australia said exports were also up by 2 per cent in the first quarter over the same period last year.

“These figures show how important the resources sector is to our economy and resilient it’s been in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic,” Minister Pitt said.

“Total resources and energy exports increased by 2 per cent in the first quarter compared to the same period last year and were valued at $68.9 billion

“Iron ore remains the star performer of the sector following a 36 per cent monthly increase during March worth $8.9 billion for the month, a 47 per cent increase on last year.

“While coal exports increased in March by 15.3 per cent, it is down by a similar amount on last year, which is an indication of some of the challenges the COVID-19 has forced on the sector.”

Total coal exports in the first quarter were down by 17.9 per cent on the same period last year, but still valued at $13.7 billion.

“A decline in steel manufacturing in countries like India and Japan has seen demand for our metallurgical coal fall but it should begin to recover as the global economy shifts back into gear,” Minister Pitt said.

“LNG exports were worth $4.6 billion in March, an 8 per cent increase on the same month last year, however the figure for the three month quarter was down by .9 per cent on 2019.

“The next three months will bring some challenges but it is clear that resources and energy exports will be a key driver of our post COVID-19 recovery.

“I thank the industry and its workers who have kept the sector operating during this crisis and I look forward to working with them as we emerge from the global pandemic.”

Media contacts: Minister Pitt's office 02 6277 7180