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September Quarterly Report Highlights Increased Export Volumes

The September 2013 edition of the WA Resources and Economics Report highlights the resources sector’s transition into an increased production phase.

Produced by the Chamber of Energy and Minerals of Western Australia (CME) in conjunction with KPMG, the report confirms most bulk commodities produced by the WA resources sector experienced greater production and export values, despite fluctuating commodity prices in the June 2013 quarter.

The report shows the national accounts have experienced modest continued GDP growth in the June quarter, with increases in GDP at 0.6 per cent for the quarter and 2.6 per cent for the year to June.

While there is still uncertainty about the financial stability of the Euro-zone and the US, steady and sustained bulk commodity imports and growth figures have emerged from China. The HSBC Purchasing Managers Index showed china’s manufacturing industry stabilised in August with a headline figure of 50.1, indicating a return to positive purchasing intentions.

“Despite some global uncertainty, it is pleasing to note that production volumes continue to increase for some of WA’s key commodities,” said CME Chief Executive Reg Howard-Smith.

Other key highlights from the quarter:

The National accounts show that Western Australia’s goods exports expanded 4.6 per cent from the previous quarter and were 8.4 per cent higher than this time last year in seasonally adjusted real terms.

  • Iron ore production reached new highs, increasing by 13.2 per cent from the previous quarter to 146 million tonnes reflecting the significant production expansions over the past year.
  • Gold production also increased by 5.7 per cent, a turnaround from the previous quarter. Although the price of gold has continued to decline, falling 9.2 per cent in the June quarter.
  • Western Australian mining investment grew 27 per cent from the March to June quarter; however it is still 12.4 per cent lower than the prior year.

Topically, the report’s spotlight issue looks at the state royalty rate analysis, including CME’s involvement in the consultation process.

“CME is working hard to ensure the government fully appreciates the challenges and issues facing the sector and expects government to recognise these challenges throughout the review process,” said Mr Howard-Smith.

The September 2013 WA Resources and Economics Report is available here or by visiting www.cmewa.com