By Paul Homewood
h/t Dennis Ambler
MELBOURNE, Oct 4 (Reuters) – Australian resources and energy export earnings are forecast to jump 7% to a record A$450 billion ($290 billion) this fiscal year, bolstered by soaring coal and gas prices in the wake of sanctions on Russia, the government said on Tuesday.
The country is set to see strong growth in revenue from exports of liquefied natural gas (LNG) as well as thermal coal used in power plants, the Department of Industry, Science and Resources said in a quarterly report.
That will offset declines in top export earner iron ore and metallurgical coal due to a downturn in steel making.
Thermal coal export revenue is expected to surge 35% to A$62 billion in the year to June 2023, overtaking revenue from metallurgical coal, forecast at A$58 billion. “It is expected that thermal coal prices will remain above metallurgical coal prices for some time — an unprecedented situation — and likely enduring while steel demand remains low and energy shortages persist,” the report said.
It added that prices could climb even more than expected as wetter-than-normal conditions over the Australian summer may hamper supply.
Australian coal has increasingly headed to Europe instead of India since mid-2022 after European sanctions were imposed on Russian coal for its invasion of Ukraine, the government said. Cost-sensitive Indian buyers are turning to cheaper Russian and Indonesian supply.
As with oil, European sanctions on Russian coal appear to have backfired, with Russia simply re-routing its coal to Asia, and Europe paying a premium to get it elsewhere.
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October 5, 2022