Australia sees energy shortages lead to record resource export revenues

Coal is unloaded into large piles at the Ulan coal mines near the rural town of Mudgee in central New South Wales, Australia, March 8, 2018. REUTERS / David Gray

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MELBOURNE, Dec.20 (Reuters) – Australia has raised its outlook for mining and energy export earnings to a record A $ 379 billion ($ 272 billion) for the current fiscal year as coal shortages and gas in China and Europe are pushing up prices, the government said. Monday.

However, the risks to the forecast are “skewed downwards,” the industry ministry said in its quarterly outlook on resources and energy. Coal prices could fall faster than expected, and higher interest rates and new strains of coronavirus could affect global growth, he warned.

Annual revenues from mining and energy exports are expected to jump 22% by June 2022, against a previous forecast of A $ 349 billion.

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“Coal is the star. High quality Australian coal is finding new markets in Asia, including India, with Australian producers benefiting from record price increases for all grades of coal,” said the Minister of Resources, Keith Pitt, in a statement.

Rising consumption in China, India and the United States could push global demand for coal-fired electricity to an all-time high this year, undermining efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, said Friday the International Energy Agency (IEA). Read more

The government has raised its forecast for thermal coal export earnings to A $ 35 billion for 2021-2022, more than double last year’s revenue and up from its previous projection of $ 24 billion Australian. Prices were supported by the utility rush to stock up for the winter.

“With below-normal energy stocks, the harshness of the rest of the winter in the northern hemisphere will have a critical influence on energy markets in the near term,” the department said.

Higher prices for coal and gas more than offset lower prices for iron ore, Australia’s main export, to an 18-month low.

Metallurgical coal exports are expected to bring in A $ 54 billion in 2021-2022, up 134% from a year ago, from a previous forecast of A $ 33 billion, in part due to soaring prices caused by supply disruptions.

LNG export earnings are expected to more than double to A $ 63 billion in 2021-2022, due to the surge in oil-related contract prices.

($ 1 = AU $ 1.3949)

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Reporting by Sonali Paul; Editing by Lincoln Feast.

Our Standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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