Australian Bureau of Statistics
1301.0 - Year Book Australia, 2004
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 27/02/2004
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Changes in the value of production for selected minerals over the period 1997-98 to 2000-01 are given in table 16.26. The largest increases in the value of production are for zinc ore and concentrate (113%) and lead ore and concentrate (111%), followed by uranium (88%), and copper ore and concentrate (67%). The increases in the value of production for zinc ore and concentrate, and lead ore and concentrate were more than three times the increases in the quantity produced, reflecting the price increases of these minerals over the period.
Mineral processing and treatment
As few minerals can be directly used in the form in which they are mined, most minerals undergo processing and treatment before use. Most processing and treatment occurs away from the mine site.
Table 16.27 shows the production of the main manufactured products of mineral origin.
Exports of major minerals
Export earnings of minerals from the Australian resources sector fell to $54.7b in 2001-02, a decrease of $0.9b on the previous year. The resources sector (which includes minerals and energy resources) includes some products which are refined outside the mining industry (as defined by ANZSIC).
As shown in table 16.28, black coal (including coking and steaming) was the greatest export earner, earning $13.6b in 2001-02, followed by crude oil and other refinery feedstock ($6.4b), iron ore and pellets ($5.2b), refined gold ($5.0b) and alumina ($4.1b).
Graph 16.29 shows the value of Australia's five largest mineral exports during the period 1994-95 to 2001-02. The value of crude oil and other refinery feedstock exported increased four-fold between 1998-99 and 2000-01 due to a 68% increase in the volume exported combined with an increase in the world trade weighted average crude oil price from US$12.31 to US$26.82 per barrel.
The value of black coal exports rose significantly in both 2000-01 and 2001-02. The increases for coking coal were 26% in 2000-01 and 27% in 2001-02, while steaming coal rose 35% in 2000-01 and 26% in 2001-02. These increases were mainly due to increases in the unit values of exports particularly in 2001-02. In this year, the unit value of coking coal rose by 26% from $62 to $78 per Mt with the volume exported remaining at 106 Mt. The unit value of steaming coal also rose by 20% from $48 to $58 per Mt.
The major markets for Australian mineral exports are Japan, Singapore, United States of America, Taiwan and the Republic of (South) Korea (graph 16.30). Asia is the most significant region for exports of Australian mineral resources, accounting for 68% ($32b) of all Australian mineral exports in 2000-01. Of the countries in this region, Japan is the main destination for Australian minerals, with $15b of export earnings entering the Australian economy in 2000-01. Its share of total exports of minerals was 27%. After Japan, the Republic of (South) Korea, Taiwan and Singapore are the main export destinations. The other significant market is the United States of America, which purchased $2.1b worth of Australian minerals (4% of the total) in 2000-01.
The main mineral exported to Japan is coal. In 2000-01, 50 Mt of steaming coal and 43 Mt of coking coal were sent to Japan (57% and 41% respectively of total Australian exports for these commodities). Japan also imported considerable quantities of crude oil and other refinery feedstock (4,068 megalitres (ML)), LPG (2,241 ML) and iron ore and pellets (67,834 kilotonne (kt)) from Australia. The volumes of LPG, and iron ore and pellets exported to this country were respectively 80% and 43% of Australia's total exports for these commodities.
The Republic of (South) Korea and Taiwan were also important markets for Australia's black coal. The steaming coal sent to these destinations amounted to 13 Mt (12% of total exported steaming coal) and 9 Mt (8%) respectively in 2000-01. The Republic of (South) Korea's imports of iron ore and pellets, and crude oil and other refinery feedstock accounted respectively for 14% (22,626 kt) and 18% (4,358 ML) of Australia's exports.
Singapore was one of the major destinations for Australian gold, buying 94 t of Australian gold in 2000-01. This amount was 31% of Australia's gold exports. Singapore was a major market for Australian crude oil and other refinery stock, importing 6,079 ML from Australia in 2000-01, 25% of the total volume exported.
In 2000-01, the United States of America imported a number of minerals from Australia including refined zinc metal (132 kt) and crude oil and other refinery feedstock (2,962 ML). Imports of zinc metal, and crude oil and other refinery feedstock respectively accounted for 29% and 12% of Australia's exports (in quantity terms) for these commodities.
Imports of major minerals
Many imported mineral commodities have had a certain amount of manufacturing applied to their raw forms. Table 16.31 provides details of the major commodities imported over the past five years. In terms of value, the largest imports for 2001-02 were for crude oil and other refinery feedstock ($7b) followed by gold ($2b). The major sources of Australian imports of crude oil and other refinery feedstock were Indonesia and Vietnam with a combined value of $3b (or 45% of the total import value for this commodity).
Graph 16.32 shows imports of selected major minerals during the period 1995-96 to 2001-02. A significant amount was spent on crude oil and other refinery feedstock compared to other imported commodities particularly from 1999-2000 to 2001-02. In 2000-01, the import value of crude oil and other refinery feedstock was $8.8b while the value of the next largest import, gold, was $1.7b.
While the volumes of imports of crude oil and other refinery feedstock fluctuated over the period 1997-98 to 2001-02, the large changes in the value of imports between 1998-99 and 2001-02 were mainly due to significant unit value rises in 1999-2000 (up 84%) and 2000-01 (up 42%), and a decline in unit value in 2001-02 (down 18%).
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