LNG exports break new records, coal delivered to the world

12 January 2018

Statement by Ian Macfarlane, Chief Executive, Queensland Resources Council

The resources sector continues to underpin the Queensland economy with record LNG exports over the year to December 2017 while coal showed it was still in high demand and on track for another record export tonnage until rail and port infrastructure was disrupted when Cyclone Debbie hit in March.

New data released today reveals that LNG exports from Queensland in 2017 totalled 20.2 million tonnes (mt), eclipsing the last record by 2.7 mt the year before.

The LNG sector is forecast to continue its record export growth that is being driven by an energy hungry Asia. China was again the largest customer, receiving nearly 11.6 mt, followed by South Korea at 4 mt while Japan imported 2.5 mt.

In addition to being a major global LNG supplier, Queensland is in a prime position with its high quality thermal and coking coal to continue to be one of the main players in global coal exports and the industry alone is forecast to contribute a $3.16 billion windfall to the state’s coffers in this year’s Budget.

Coal exports over the 12 months reached 210.8 mt which is down 10 mt or 5 per cent from the previous year’s record of 220.8 mt. The fall in coal is due to Cyclone Debbie severally damaging rail infrastructure and according to Queensland Treasury, the cyclone decreased coal exports by 11 mt. In other words, in the absence of the cyclone, Queensland coal exports would have reached another volume record.

Green activists continue to claim the world is turning away from fossil fuels. In fact, the opposite is the case with Queensland coal exported to at least 37 different countries – five in the Americas – Mexico, Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Uruguay – two in Africa – Algeria, South Africa – 12 in Asia – China, India, Indonesia, Japan, South Korea, Malaysia, Pakistan, Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand, Vietnam – 16 in Europe – Austria, Belgium, Croatia, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Poland, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Ukraine, United Kingdom – two in Middle East – Turkey, UAE.

Queensland LNG was exported to nine countries across the world, China, India, Japan, South Korea, Singapore, Thailand, Philippines, Malaysia and Hong Kong.

As we know from our current economic data, Queensland’s combined coal and LNG industries delivered a $46.7 billion economic contribution in 2016/17 and supported more than 230,000 full-time employees across the state.

Media contact: Anthony Donaghy 0412 450 360