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Australia's Commodity Exports To Reach $9 Bn 04-05

Australia's Commodity Exports To Reach $9 Bn In 04-05

Earnings from Australia's commodity exports are forecast to increase by 15 per cent to a record of AUD95 billion in 2004-05, the Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics (ABARE) latest forecasting report reveals.

The report, the December issue of Australian Commodities, was released today by Dr Executive Director of THE Bureau. Brian Fisher,

“This forecast increase mainly reflects higher minerals and energy prices on world markets and increased export shipments in response to global economic growth,” Dr Fisher said.

The value of Australia's minerals and energy exports is forecast to be AUD65.1 billion in 2004-05, a rise of 23 per cent from AUD53.0 billion in 2003-04.

Dr Fisher noted that export earnings from coal are forecast to increase by 48 per cent to AUD16.1 billion in 2004-05. Reflecting higher world prices, the value of crude oil exports is expected to increase by 34 per cent to AUD6.8 billion in 2004-05.

For base metal (copper, lead and zinc), export earnings are forecast to reach a total of around AUD5.1 billion in the year, a rise of 23 per cent from last year.

Unit returns for energy exports are forecast to increase by 33 per cent in 2004-05, after a decline of 11 per cent in 2003-04. World oil prices are forecast to average around USAUD41 a barrel for West Texas Intermediate crude in 2005, compared with an estimated average of USAUD42 a barrel in 2004. Unit export returns for metallic minerals and metals are forecast to rise by 15 per cent in 2004-05, following a fall of 2.0 per cent in 2003-04.

Earnings from farm exports are forecast to be AUD26.8 billion in 2004-05, an increase of 2.6 per cent from AUD26.1 billion in 2003-04. Crop exports are forecast to rise by 3.0 per cent to AUD13.7 billion and livestock product exports to increase by 2.1 per cent to AUD13.0 billion in 2004-05.

According to Dr Fisher, the outlook for domestic saleyard prices for beef was dependent on developments in beef trade between the United States and Japan, while saleyard prices for lamb and mutton are expected to remain firm, partly in response to strong demand from export markets. Higher farm gate milk prices are forecast in 2004-05 as a result of significant increases in international prices for dairy products.

In contrast, wool prices are expected to be lower in 2004-05, with the eastern market indicator price forecast to average around 750 cents a kilogram (clean) in the year, compared with 820 cents in 2003-04.

Dr Fisher also stated that world grain prices have been generally weaker because of expected higher world grain production. In particular, production in the European Union is expected to increase significantly from the drought affected harvest of last year.

ENDS


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