Forecast: resources continue to underpin recovery

Published Thursday, 30 September, 2021 at 03:28 PM

Minister for Resources
The Honourable Scott Stewart

Surging copper and nickel prices are among the highlights in the latest forecasts showing resources will continue to drive jobs and the Palaszczuk Government’s COVID-19 Economic Recovery Plan.

Resources Minister Scott Stewart said today’s forecasts from the Office of the Chief Economist show even stronger resources prices and exports for the next two years than forecast three months ago.

The September quarter edition of the Resources and Energy Quarterly released today says high prices, good volume growth and a weaker Australian dollar are driving a surge in export earnings.

“Surging copper prices, supported by economic recovery and the expanding use of copper in low-emissions technology, are fuelling exploration,” Minister Stewart said.

“Copper is a new economy mineral the world needs for renewable energy and advanced technology.

“We have already seen increased copper exploration in Queensland and the Palaszczuk Government will continue to back this as part of our $23 million new economy minerals initiative.

“As the Premier said yesterday, Queensland has the critical minerals below the ground and the renewables above the ground to be a clean energy superpower.”

In other highlights for Queensland producers, LNG export earnings have been revised up nationally by $6.7 billion in 2021–22, and by $4.5 billion in 2022-23, reflecting higher assumed LNG spot prices and oil-linked contract prices.

The report also notes increased demand for Australian coal from customers in South Korea, Japan and Europe has contributed to the positive result.

Nickel prices will average nearly a third higher this year over 2020, driven by strong demand from stainless steel producers and for electric vehicle batteries.

The Chief Economist’s Resources and Energy Quarterly forecasts the value, volume and price of Australia’s major resources and energy commodity exports over five years.


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