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Credit: Moolarben Coal Operations

The global energy crisis has driven demand for Australian resources to all-time highs, with the country’s resource exports expected to hit a record of more than $400 billion, according to reports.

The ongoing Russia–Ukraine war and the resultant sanctions on Russia have led to global shortages in coal and natural gas, which has in turn seen commodity prices spike.

Australia’s record resource export earnings have come as countries look to non-Russian sources of fuel, a situation Federal Resources Minister Madeleine King said highlighted Australia as a “stable and reliable” global supplier.

“Australia’s resources and energy sector continues to underpin Australia’s economy and to support international energy security during the global turbulence caused largely by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine,” she said.

Trade figures from the Federal Government to be released on Monday July 4 are expected to show a jump from $320 billion in export earnings in the 2020–21 financial year to $405 billion this year – a 26 per cent year-on-year increase.

Earnings from coal and liquefied natural gas have both more than doubled in the past 12 months. It is expected the trade figures will show that exports of thermal coal have jumped from $16 billion to $39 billion year-on-year as a result of historically high prices, while metallurgical coal has risen from $23 billion to $60 billion over the same period.

Iron ore remains Australia’s most valuable export, with the new trade figures estimating its export earnings reached $133 billion for the year. However, King said those earnings were expected to decline as mines in Brazil lift production volumes and global demand slows.

“The value of iron ore exports is expected to moderate further in 2023–24, as prices ease toward their historical average below US$100 a tonne,” she said.

The new trade figures come after the European Union (EU) last week said it was veering away from its reliance on Russia for raw critical minerals, instead looking to Australia to become its next supplier.