In a sector shaken by pandemics, energy crises and war, the road ahead for Australian resources and energy could seem rocky. But what does the future look like for our most valuable exports, and will we see new star performers on the rise?

In our latest GRT Industry article, we’ll dive into the latest federal government report on Australian resources and energy, scanning the recent trends and taking a long view of future prospects. 

Reaching a new record of $465 Billion in the 22-23 financial year, Australian resource and energy exports look unbeatable, but underneath the surface, change is ongoing.

Electric Vehicles (EVs) are driving long-term shifts away from traditional energy commodities and towards minerals like lithium, which is booming and expected to continue. But in a period defined by uncertainty, nothing is inevitable. 

While the going is good, the winds of change are blowing and are reflected in the latest federal government report.

Are environmental regulations, health and safety concerns or potential profit loss a concern right now?

Exports: The State of Play

As the world’s most significant contributor to overall GDP, China casts an outsized shadow over global exports and trade.

And, emerging from strict covid lockdowns, the Chinese economy is expected to increase its demand for resources over the short term.

This expected need underpins the price of thermal and metallurgical coal and iron ore commodities. 

An energy crisis triggered by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has unsettled the oil and gas markets in Europe and beyond, driving high demand for LNG and producing over $90 billion in value from Australian exports. 

As markets reorganise, however, after these shocks, trends are expected to appear over the coming five-year period; here’s a snapshot:


Dependant on global property markets, steelmaking has had a shaky year due to Covid – dropping over 3%. Still, with China reopening and global property growth, steel demand is expected to grow at 1.5% until 2028.

Iron Ore

Built on the expected demand from our biggest trading partner, iron ore prices have continued to rise in early 2023 after a 50% drop in the previous period. 

With major new supplies coming on board, the revenue from Fe is expected to decline from $121 billion in 2022–23 to around $75 billion by 2027–28.

Coal (metalurgical & thermal)

Australia’s coal earnings have remained solid, to say the least, surpassing iron ore as our most significant export last year. 

Despite this, demand for coal is expected to fall away as new technology arrives to decarbonise steel-making alongside new sources of clean energy.


The LNG market has been a big beneficiary of the energy crisis stemming from the war in Ukraine.

Prices are expected to remain tight following the loss of Russia’s supply but then ease by 2026 as new supply from the US, and Qatar comes online.

Australia’s LNG value will drop to around $47 billion by 2028.


The rise of Electric Vehicles will ultimately spell the end of the oil industry.

The current price of $88 a barrel will be the high point for the coming five years as demand falls and prices fall (are managed) to $68 per barrel. 

Australia’s oil export earnings will fall sharply from $13.4 billion in 2022–23 to $9.8 billion in 2027–28.


The Australian government has released the latest Resources and Energy update.

And while the numbers are strong across the board, change is in the wind, and some commodities are predicted to struggle as others thrive.

That said, Australia’s natural resource wealth has it in good stead for the coming five years as a stable driver of our economy and continued growth. 

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