June 22, 2010 / 1:36 AM / 10 years ago

UPDATE 1-Australia revises up most metals export forecasts

* Australia revises up most 2010/11 metal export forecasts

* Iron ore to benefit from recovery in non-China steelmaking

* Nickel price seen stabilising

* May see “significant fluctuations” in copper prices

(Adds details, quotes)

SYDNEY, June 22 (Reuters) - Australia on Tuesday pushed up forecasts for key commodity exports next year, citing rising world demand for iron ore, copper, nickel and other industrial staples as more economies outside Asia shake off remnants of the global financial crisis.

Australian iron ore exports are set to rise to a record 398.8 million tonnes in the 2010/11 financial year (June/July) and 422 million tonnes in calendar 2011, data from the Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics (ABARE) showed, as steelmakers in the United States, the European Union and Japan restart production capacity idled in 2008, adding to already strong Chinese demand.

ABARE forecast Australia will retain its no.1 ranking as the world top exporter of metallurgical coal, accounting for 65 percent of the global seaborne market, despite rising exports from the United States and Canada.

“In 2011, all major export markets are forecast to experience modest growth, as demand for seaborne metallurgical coal continues to grow,” ABARE said in its June quarter outlook. <^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

For table on ABARE metals and coal forecasts [ID:nSYU010097]

Iron ore graphic here

Coking coal graphic

here

Coal exports graphic

here

Refined copper exports graphic here ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^>

ABARE also painted a brighter outlook for the world nickel market, forecasting nickel prices will average around $18,750 a tonne in the second half of 2010 and remain roughly constant in 2011.

London Metal Exchange three-month nickel MNI3 on Wednesday was last indicated at $19,650 a tonne versus the recession low of $8,950 in October 2008, based on Reuters data.

“Stable nickel prices in 2011 reflect an assumption of continued recovery in OECD economies and strong economic growth in China and other countries in non-OECD Asia, which will underpin nickel demand, largely offset by increased global supply, ABARE said.

But it also warned that economic uncertainty around the European debt crisis and the world economic outlook has the potential to cause “significant fluctuations” in copper prices in the short term.

In particular, the risk of lower-than-expected growth in the European Union, and the possible spillover effects on growth in the United States and possibly China, could result in average copper prices being lower than its 2010 and 2011 forecasts of $6,762 and $7,025 a tonne respectively. (Reporting by James Regan; Editing by Ed Davies)

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