Resources and energy exports are likely to rise in 2014-15 off the back of robust growth in iron ore and LNG export volume increases according to the latest forecasts from The Bureau of Resources and Energy Economics (BREE).

This is a further positive sign that our resources and energy boom is far from over as major projects transition from the construction to the production phase. Australia is in a very strong position to help meet increasing demand driven by the exploding middle classes of the Asia Pacific.

BREE forecasts that resources and energy export earnings will increase 2.6 per cent to $201 billion in 2014-15, this is despite the latest Australian Bureau of Statistics Trade in Goods and Services data for May showing resources exports were down 0.2 per cent to $13 billion compared to the previous year.

The ABS data shows that overall Australian exports have increased 0.6 per cent to $26.7 billion compared to May last year.

Increases in manufacturing exports, up 8.6 per cent to $3.5 billion, and services, up 9.1 per cent to $4.9 billion, offset the fall in resources exports.

  • Machinery exports were up 10.4 per cent from May last year to $806 million.
  • Transport equipment was up 39.0 per cent to $478 million.
  • Travel services were up 8.5 per cent to $2.9 billion.
  • Metal ores and minerals were up 1.8 per cent to $7.6 billion.
  • Coal, coke and briquettes were down 10.1 per cent to $3.1 billion.

Exports to East Asia rose 1.5 per cent from a year ago with a strong growth in exports to ASEAN economies, up 27.8 per cent to $2.6 billion. Exports to China rose 1.4 per cent to $8.1 billion while exports to Japan fell 6.7 per cent to $3.8 billion as did those to Korea, down 14.4 per cent to $1.4 billion. 

Exports increased to New Zealand, up 15.9 per cent, the United States, up 10.7 per cent, and the Gulf Cooperation Council, up 10.4 per cent.      

On a month-on-month basis (in seasonally adjusted terms), exports in May were down 4.6 per cent from the previous month, reflecting the fall in resources exports, down 8.6 per cent, and rural exports, down 1.9 per cent.  Manufactures and services partially offset these falls with a 1.1 per cent and 0.2 per cent increase from the previous month.

The month-on-month fall in exports, coupled with a 0.6 per cent fall in imports to $28.6 billion, saw Australia record a $1.9 billion trade deficit in May. This follows a revised trade deficit of $780 million in April.   

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