Strong global recovery helps drive Qld’s resourceful exports

  • Posted 20 December, 2021
  • Media Releases

20 December

Click here for photo of QRC Chief Executive Ian Macfarlane.

Click here for Australian Government media statement.

Click here for Office of the Chief Economist’s latest Resources and Energy Quarterly.


Australian resources and energy exports are expected to reach a record high of $379 billion in 2021-22 – well over a third of a trillion dollars – according to the latest Resources and Energy Quarterly (REQ) update.

Queensland Resources Council (QRC) Chief Executive Ian Macfarlane said Queensland’s major commodities of coal, LNG, aluminium, bauxite, copper and zinc are helping drive Australia’s strong growth outlook for resources.

“The resources sector has continued to underpin the national economy by paying the most company tax out of any industry, and we also pay our employees the highest wages compared to any other sector,” Mr Macfarlane said.

“On top of this, resources has been generating record economic activity in spite of the impact of the pandemic and is Australia’s most valuable export industry, which is why it’s been so important to keep resources companies operating safely during Covid-19.”

Mr Macfarlane said the latest outlook for resource exports shows the world economy is bouncing back from the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.

“The positive forecast for resources’ exports is great news for our sector and great news for Queensland because it means more money flowing through the state economy, more jobs and increased prosperity for the businesses that provide goods and services to support our operations,” he said.

“Metallurgical coal companies are benefiting from rebounding world steel production, with Australian export volumes expected to increase by almost six percent to 2023.

“Prices for metallurgical coal are set to remain elevated due to tight supply, which is good news for Queensland as our state produces nearly 90 percent of Australia’s coking coal exports.

“There’s also good news for thermal coal producers, with India expected to increase its use of coal by 11 percent over the next two years to 2023.”

Queensland’s other powerhouse commodities are also in line for significant growth, notably Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG).

“Demand for LNG from emerging Asian economies continues to grow strongly — increasing by 22 percent in 2021 due to declining local supplies and growing demand.” Mr Macfarlane said.

The region, which includes India is forecast to continue to grow strongly, with demand in 2023 expected to be 44% higher than in 2020.

“Increasing demand for aluminium is to be expected to support the world’s ongoing demand for cars, houses, and electrical equipment.” he said.

“The Chief Economist also says the growing demand for low emission technology, such as wind and solar power generation will further boost demand for a host of Queensland’s exports including copper, zinc and aluminium.”

“Firm, global economic growth should also see zinc consumption rise modestly over the outlook period, growing from 14.1 million tonnes in 2021 to 14.4 million tonnes in 2023, which is up an average of 1.2% a year.

“The US Government’s US$1.2 trillion stimulus package is likely to boost the demand for refined zinc and copper during the outlook period and beyond.”

The REQ contains the Office of the Chief Economist’s forecasts for the value, volume and price of Australia’s major resources and energy commodity exports.