Recently, Australia’s resource and energy exports have grown considerably, surging to an overwhelming $310 billion in 2020-21, stated the latest update of Resource and Energy Quarterly (REQ). The numbers are expected to eclipse the resource exports of the last financial year by rising further to around $334 billion in 2021-22 

While there are many contributing factors behind this surge, the Chief Executive of Queensland Resources Council (QRC), Ian Macfarlane has credited Australia’s second-most populous state for injecting a major share into the exports. He said that the strong growth outlook has primarily been boosted by coal, LNG, bauxite and zinc output. The coal sector in Queensland has received a major boost for the future perspective, as Adani Group Australia has started the production. 

The Australian government has been wary of the resource sector’s importance to keep the economy stable and allowed the mining companies to operate safely even during the Covid-19 situation. While the country’s economy is bouncing back from a dire condition, the resource sector will continue to be of primary importance. Especially, the thermal coal producers will be in the spotlight with the Japanese thermal coal contract reference price already finalized by the authorities. The prices are set to increase by nearly 60 per cent on the previous year. 

Other resources are also on course for significant growth, such as zinc and metallurgical coal. A strong demand from developing countries for LNG is also enhancing the prospects. The positive forecast for resource exports is definitely going to have a bearing on the sector and the regulations, which will be implemented in the wake of Covid-19 pandemic and changing market dynamics. For instance, the authorities were quick to declare coal mining as critical during the first wave of the pandemic, as it employs thousands of skilled workers and benefits many businesses along with the supply. 

With various new projects starting production in 2021, including the Carmichael mine by Adani Group, Australia’s economic resurgence is going to get even stronger. Additionally, the surge in iron ore, one of the country’s biggest export has added more value. According to a report released at the beginning of the year by the Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources, a five-year outlook highlighted the mining sector’s ability to capture the growth opportunities from the Covid-19 recovery.

The resources sector has well and truly managed the challenges of the past year, showcasing its importance in leading economic prosperity. The industry was a reliable supplier for domestic and global markets during the first wave of the Covid-19 pandemic. It will most certainly continue to remain so even in the post-pandemic world as well.