Super, massive trade surplus holds up economy

Original article by John Kehoe
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 1 & 6 : 7-Aug-19

Westpac’s chief economist Bill Evans says Australia could be set to post its first current account surplus since 1975, following the release of the latest balance of trade data. The nation’s trade surplus rose to a record $8.04bn in June and totalled $19.7bn for the June quarter, which is $5.2bn higher than the March quarter. The result was driven by strong growth in iron ore export volumes and the price of the steel input during the period. Australia’s overall export volumes increased by 1.4 per cent in June, while there was a 3.6 per cent decline in imports.

CORPORATES
WESTPAC BANKING CORPORATION – ASX WBC, AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND BANKING GROUP LIMITED – ASX ANZ, JP MORGAN AUSTRALIA LIMITED, CAPITAL ECONOMICS LIMITED

LNG breaks record with $50.5b of exports

Original article by Angela Macdonald-Smith
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 13 & 18 : 16-Jul-19

Data from EnergyQuest shows that LNG was Australia’s third-biggest source of export revenue in 2018-19, after iron ore and coal. LNG exports totalled 75.1 million tonnes by volume, an increase of 21.2 per cent, and about $50.5bn in terms of value. Shipments from Queensland’s three LNG plants increased from 20.5 million tonnes in 2017-18 to 21.8 million tonnes, although new LNG projects in Western Australia and the Northern Territory were the main driver of the growth in exports. The federal government expects LNG export earnings to peak at $54bn in 2019-20.

CORPORATES
ENERGYQUEST PTY LTD, SANTOS LIMITED – ASX STO, ORIGIN ENERGY LIMITED – ASX ORG, ROYAL DUTCH SHELL PLC, CHEVRON CORPORATION, GLOBAL ENERGY MONITOR, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE ENVIRONMENT AND ENERGY

Australia set to emit 13pc of all carbon

Original article by James Fernyhough
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 17 : 8-Jul-19

A report commissioned by the Australian Conservation Foundation contends that the nation will be responsible for up to 13 per cent of the world’s carbon dioxide emissions by 2030. Prepared by German think tank Climate Analytics, the report takes into account emissions from Australian fossil fuel exports that are burnt in other countries. The Minerals Council of Australia estimated in 2018 that demand for imported thermal coal in Asia could rise by up to 400 million tonnes by 2030, while Gavan McFadzean from the ACF rejects the suggestion that Australia should not be responsible for what other countries do with its fossil fuels.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN CONSERVATION FOUNDATION INCORPORATED, CLIMATE ANALYTICS, MINERALS COUNCIL OF AUSTRALIA

Resource export earnings surge

Original article by Perry Williams
The Australian – Page: 17 & 21 : 1-Jul-19

The Department of Industry estimates that Australia’s resources export earnings reached a new high of $275bn in 2018-19. It forecasts that this will top $285bn in 2019-20, before falling to $260bn in 2020-21 as commodity prices ease. Iron ore exports are forecast to reach a record $79bn in 2019-20, up from $75bn in 2018-19, and ease to $65bn in 2020-21. Resources Minister Matt Canavan notes that mining investment has fallen in the last five years, and he says governments in Australia should capitalise on high commodity prices by reducing the regulatory barriers to investing in the sector.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF INDUSTRY, INNOVATION AND SCIENCE, ADANI MINING PTY LTD

BHP energises coal to dodge China import restrictions

Original article by Peter Ker
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 15 & 18 : 19-Jun-19

BHP is looking at ways to upgrade the quality of thermal coal produced at its Mt Arthur mine in New South Wales, in order to increase exports to Japan and South Korea. The move is aimed at offsetting the impact of China’s restrictions on coal imports from Australia. Coal buyers in Japan and Korea generally prefer coal that contains about 6,000 kilocalories of energy per kilogram, whereas the coal that BHP ships to China typically has 5,500 kilocalories of energy per kilogram.

CORPORATES
BHP GROUP LIMITED – ASX BHP, YANCOAL AUSTRALIA LIMITED – ASX YAL, S&P GLOBAL PLATTS

Challenge to Australia’s gas dominance

Original article by Perry Williams
The Australian – Page: Online : 4-Jun-19

Australia displaced Qatar as the world’s biggest LNG exporter in late 2018, but gas buyers say this status may be short-lived as more producers enter a competitive market. James Vigil of Japan-based JERA says LNG producers need to be competitive with regard to factors other than price, such as the terms and conditions of their supply deals and the length of their contracts. Meanwhile, Qatar plans to ramp up its LNG production, while the US has a rapidly growing LNG export trade.

CORPORATES
JERA, THE TOKYO ELECTRIC POWER COMPANY INCORPORATED, CHUBU ELECTRIC POWER COMPANY INCORPORATED, WOOD MACKENZIE, CHEVRON CORPORATION, AGL ENERGY LIMITED – ASX AGL, EXXONMOBIL CORPORATION, MITSUBISHI CORPORATION

Record trade surplus of $4.8b thanks to iron ore

Original article by Matthew Cranston
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 5 : 4-Apr-19

New figures show that Australia’s trade surplus rose to a record $4.8bn in February, well ahead of analysts’ expectations of just $3.7bn. The result was boosted by an 11 per cent increase in the value of iron ore exports. Gareth Aird of the Commonwealth Bank expects commodity prices to rise further, and that the forecasts outlined in the April 2019 Budget will prove to be too conservative. Meanwhile, services exports rose by two per cent in February, while there was a one per cent decline in rural exports.

CORPORATES
COMMONWEALTH BANK OF AUSTRALIA – ASX CBA, AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND BANKING GROUP LIMITED – ASX ANZ, UBS HOLDINGS PTY LTD, JP MORGAN AUSTRALIA LIMITED, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE TREASURY

No conspiracy as coal delays double

Original article by John Kehoe, Michael Smith
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 8 : 25-Feb-19

It is now taking around 40 days for Australian coal to be cleared through five ports in northern China, up from around 25 days. The ports in question receive around eight per cent of the Australian coal exported to China, and less than two per cent of Australia’s total coal exports. Trade Minister Simon Birmingham says protection of local coal miners and environmental checks seem to be the main reasons for the delays, while he has rejected any "conspiracy theories" regarding the possible reasons for the delays.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS AND TRADE

China slaps ban on exports

Original article by Perry Williams, Glenda Korporaal
The Australian – Page: 1 & 2 : 22-Feb-19

The Australian dollar fell by more than one per cent on 21 February following reports that China has imposed an indefinite ban on thermal coal exports from Australia entering five ports in northern China. Trade Minister Simon Birmingham has asked Australia’ s ambassador in Beijing, Jan Adams, to investigate the apparent ban. Australia exported around $2.1 billion worth of thermal coal to the five ports in 2018. It has been suggested that China’s action could be linked to Australia’s ban on technology company Huawei.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS AND TRADE, HUAWEI TECHNOLOGIES COMPANY LIMITED, AUSTRALIAN STRATEGIC POLICY INSTITUTE LIMITED, MINERALS COUNCIL OF AUSTRALIA

King coal now tops export earners

Original article by Paul Garvey
The Australian – Page: 24 : 6-Feb-19

Data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics shows that the nation’s minerals and energy exports rose to a record $193bn in 2018. The value of coal exports topped $66.2bn, surpassing iron ore as Australia’s biggest export earner for the first time. Mining companies benefited from a rally in thermal and coking coal prices in 2018. However, prices have since fallen, while the iron ore price has rallied in 2019.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN BUREAU OF STATISTICS, BHP GROUP LIMITED – ASX BHP, RIO TINTO LIMITED – ASX RIO, SOUTH32 LIMITED – ASX S32, MINERALS COUNCIL OF AUSTRALIA