Country Report Australia October 1996 Main report

Sectoral trends: Second-quarter mining output is flat--

The value of the mining sector's output remained fairly flat (up by 0.6%, real terms, seasonally adjusted) in the second quarter. The real value of mining output rose by 3.8% for 1995/96 as a whole. The output of a number of minerals rose during the second quarter, notably copper, gold, black coal, oil, gas and uranium. The ABARE index of mine output rose by 4.6% during 1995/96. Within that overall figure, the output of metallic minerals surged by 8.7%. Large increases in mine production were recorded for uranium (94%), copper (28%), zinc (13%), gold (9.5%), lead (9.8%), iron ore (7.9%), manganese (8.6%) and nickel (8.2%).

--but the value of mineral resource exports rose

The value of mineral resource export earnings rose by 2.8% to A$8.6bn during the second quarter. The increase followed falls of around 1.5% over each of the preceding two quarters and reflects the fact that higher export volumes more than offset generally lower prices.

For 1995/96 as a whole mineral resource export earnings rose by 12% to A$33.9bn. Particularly large increases were recorded for refined gold (A$917m), black coal (A$883m), alumina (A$480m), aluminium (A$203m), nickel (A$170m) and uranium (A$54m). The growth in export earnings for the year reflected both higher volumes and higher prices; although mineral prices eased during the first half of 1996, the overall level for 1995/96 still exceeded that for the previous year.

© 1996 The Economist lntelligence Unit Ltd. All rights reserved
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