Australia’s Coal Exports by Volume Set to Rise on Asian Demand

Australia’s Coal Exports by Volume Set to Rise on Asian Demand

Article content

(Bloomberg) — Australian coal exports are set to rise for at least the next three years on growing demand for the dirtiest fossil fuel in India and Southeast Asia, according to a new report from Canberra. 

Article content

Thermal and metallurgical coal shipments — used for power generation and steelmaking, respectively — will both rise steadily by volume until at least 2025, the latest quarterly energy and resources report released Monday shows. 

Article content

Chinese imports of Australian coal have also begun to tick up, after an informal ban was lifted earlier in 2023, according to the report. 

Australia — the world’s second-biggest coal exporter — has long been considered a laggard on climate issues. The Labor government under Prime Minister Anthony Albanese has attempted to re-brand the nation as a critical minerals and clean energy “superpower,” but is also continuing to support growth of the coal and gas sectors.

Exports of thermal coal, the single biggest cause of climate change, will see the most volume growth, rising 7.3% this year, the report shows. Shipments of metallurgical coal will climb 2.6%. However, the value of those exports is projected to drop sharply as coal prices fall.

Article content

Overseas sales of liquefied natural gas, a less pollutive fossil fuel that is Australia’s third-biggest export, will fall over the year ending June 2024, the report found.

Exports of commodities used in the energy transition, including lithium, copper and nickel, will enjoy some of the biggest percentage growth — lithium exports will increase between 20% and 30% for each of the next three fiscal years. Still, these will remain meager earners next to the top three bulk exports of iron ore, coal and LNG.

See also  SVB collapse could add to China stock investors’ anxiety

Overall, Australia’s energy and minerals exports brought in an estimated A$460 billion ($305 billion) — a record high — in the 2022-23 fiscal year that ended Friday, thanks to the commodity price boom unleashed by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. That figure will drop sharply in coming years, according to the report.

Meanwhile, shipments of iron ore — Australia’s biggest export earner — are expected to grow steadily over the next three years as BHP Group Ltd. and Rio Tinto Group ramp up production from their giant mines in Western Australia.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *