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Energy Exports Boost Australia’s Trade Surplus

Australia’s exports swelled to almost $8 billion in May, or A$11.8 billion, more than a billion Australian dollars over expectations, Bloomberg has reported, citing government data.

Energy commodity exports increased modestly during the reported month but their value pushed the total higher. Coal, coke, and briquette exports rose by 1.6%, the data showed, while mineral fuel exports including liquefied natural gas rose by 3.4%.

Earlier this month, the Australian resources ministry reported a surge in energy and mining commodity export income for the latest financial year thanks to higher prices but forecast a decline for the current financial year.

Energy and other resource exports in financial 2022/23 rose by 9%, the data showed, reaching a record-high value of some $300 billion, or A$460 billion.

However, they are set to decline by 15% in the next financial year to about $260 billion, or A$390 billion, falling further in the year after, to about $290 billion, or A$344 billion.

Australian LNG exports hit a record in 2022, reaching 81.4 million tons, which was 0.5% higher than the previous year’s exports. Most of the exports went to Japan, and China took second place, according to data from EnergyQuest released earlier this year.

In the current financial year, LNG exports are set to decline by a sizeable 27% in terms of value as international prices have fallen. Coal exports are also expected to decline, by some 40%.

Earlier this week, the U.S. Energy Information Administration reported that global LNG trade had risen to a record last year, reaching 51.7 billion cubic feet daily.

The United States saw the sharpest increase in demand for its liquefied gas, from a little over 2 billion cubic feet daily to more than 10 billion cubic feet daily.

The rise in demand for Australian gas was smaller, at about 2 billion cubic feet daily, but still quite significant.


By Charles Kennedy for Oilprice.com

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