Jun 26, 2012 (Dow Jones) SYDNEY--Australia's mineral and energy export earnings are expected to rise 8% to a record 209.5 billion Australian dollars (US$210.9 million) next fiscal year, supported by a bounce in market prices for resources, the government's Bureau of Resources and Energy Economics said Wednesday.
The agency, also known as BREE, forecast energy commodity export earnings to grow 7% in 2012-13, to A$82.3 billion, helped by gains in thermal coal, liquefied natural gas and uranium. Growth in thermal coal shipments will be primarily supported by increased demand from Asia, with India the largest driver, the agency said in a quarterly report.
Mineral commodity exports would meanwhile increase 10% to A$127.1 billion, spurred by increased export values for gold, copper and iron ore, it said.
"Overall, the outlook for Australian resources and energy commodities production and exports in 2012-13 remains robust," BREE said.
The agency's view on Chinese base metal demand, however, was mixed. It said uncertainty over the economic outlook "is expected to result in weaker metals consumption growth in China and the U.S. and the continued contraction of consumption in Europe" in the June quarter.
However, BREE also noted that a recent increase in cancelled warrants--a proxy for metal about to leave warehouses--relative to total London Metal Exchange stocks "is consistent with an expectation of robust growth in the demand for base metals over the near term in China."
It forecast Australian copper exports to increase 10%, to 966,000 tons, in 2012-13.