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Coal proves to be Australia’s largest export

Recent figures released from the Australian Bureau of Statistics have confirmed that coal was Australia’s largest single export in 2018.

A statement released this week from the Coal Council of Australia said that coal had now asserted its pivotal role in the Australian economy.

“Historically coal has been Australia’s most significant export contributor, and the latest data signifies a resurgent industry with a positive future,” the statement said.

“Total coal exports in the past 12 months to the end of December were valued at $66.2 billion up from $57.1 billion in 2017.  The next largest export was iron ore, which was valued at $63 billion.

“The robust performance of the sector has delivered tangible benefits for all Australians including across the coal regions of Queensland and NSW. The benefits include over 150,000 direct and related jobs and rising tax and royalty collections.”

According to the statement, coal royalties provide $5.5 billion directly to the Queensland and NSW state governments.

Furthermore, Asian demand for high-quality Australian coal is also expected to remain strong.

“Respected industry analyst, Commodity Insights, recently predicted the requirement for up to an additional 500 million tonnes of coal per annum comprising both thermal and metallurgical coal by 2030.

“Australia, however, cannot take the continued industry strength for granted and commercial challenges remain in the form of on-going supply competition from Indonesia, North America, South Africa and Russia, while lengthy and onerous environmental regulatory processes enforced by State governments could impede future growth and hence forego significant economic benefit.”

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Rebecca Thacker

Rebecca Thacker

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