CANBERRA, – The Resources and Energy Quarterly shows that despite COVID-19, Australia’s export earnings from resources are still on track to reach a record high in 2019/20.
Minister for Resources, Water and Northern Australia Keith Pitt said in a statement on Monday that the new report confirms the resources sector continues to underpin the country’s economy and has helped cushion the blow.
According to the official figures, Australia’s resources and energy exports are expected to reach a record 293 billion Australian dollars (200.9 billion U.S. dollars) in financial year 2019/20, which ends on Tuesday.
“Iron ore demand has almost fully recovered in China and it remains on track to be first single Australian commodity to break the 100 billion AUD (68.5 billion USD) mark in annual export value,” Pitt said.
“On current trends, Australia will overtake China next year as the world’s top gold producing country to reach 30 billion AUD (20 billion USD) in exports.
“The sector has always been a key contributor to Australia’s economic success and now it’s playing a vital role in protecting the country from a much more severe downturn as a result of COVID-19,” said the minister.
The report also found mining directly accounted for 25 percent of the growth in Australia’s GDP in the 12 months to the March quarter.
Compared to 6.2 percent across all industries, employment in resources fell by 3.1 percent between February and May, according to the statement.
“Our government’s focus will be all about jobs as we emerge from the COVID-19 economic downturn, particularly for younger Australians, and the resources sector is well positioned to play its part,” Pitt said. – Xinhua