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Australia’s Resources and Energy quarterly report has predicted a record $296 billion in exports for the 2020-21 financial year as the likes of iron ore and gold overcome the impact of COVID-19.

Iron ore earnings are expected to rise by one third to hit a record $136 billion, after becoming the country’s first ever commodity to top $100 billion. Similarly, gold has fallen only slightly from its immense results in 2020.

These results were released by the Australian Government’s Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources.

Minister for Resources, Water and Northern Australia Keith Pitt said the report exemplifies the Australian spirit through the sector.

“This report confirms the remarkable resilience and strength of Australia’s resources and energy sector,” Pitt said.

“The industry has remained safe and reliable suppliers to domestic and global markets throughout the pandemic.”

The report expected the next five years to see lithium, nickel and copper rise by 500, 100, and 30 per cent, respectively, as the three commodities combine to overtake current thermal coal revenue by 2025-26.

Pitt said the uptake in certain commodities has become the backbone for Australia to rely on during the pandemic.

“The increasing demand for Australian commodities has allowed export earnings to overcome challenging conditions for the benefit of the Australian economy and Australian jobs,” Pitt said.

While the report suggested the rollout of a COVID-19 vaccine provided hope for global markets – as the IMF forecasts global GDP to grow by 5.5 per cent in 2021 – likely disruptions in such rollouts to particular populations still present a strong amount of risk.