Record-high iron ore prices provide welcome boost to Australia’s resources sector

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Iron ore remains Australia’s single largest commodity export, with export values anticipated to reach a new high of A$136 billion in 2020-21 as global iron ore prices continue to surge.

Minister for Resources, Water and Northern Australia Keith Pitt said the higher iron ore prices provided a welcome boost to Australia’s resources sector which accounts for around 10% of the country’s GDP and directly employs around 262,000 Australian men and women.

“Iron ore spot prices have surged to as high a US$194.5 per tonne, beating the previous high of US$187 from February 2011,” Minister Pitt said.

“The price has risen by 21% since the start of 2021 and more than 130% over the past year. Futures prices on the Singapore and Dalian exchanges are also at historical highs.

“I congratulate the sector for the work it’s done to remain a stable and reliable supplier during the COVID19 pandemic.”

Mr Pitt noted that Australian producers are also benefitting from a lower Australian dollar, as most iron ore contracts are priced in US dollars.

“Lockdowns would be causing a lot more economic pain without the significant contribution of resources, and in particular iron ore,” he concluded.

Image credit: https://minerals.org.au/minerals/ironore