Rising prices in the world market flushed cash into Australian coffers when iron ore exports surged in value in the first half of 2019. But high yields on the good that has become Australia’s most valuable export in the process are not here to stay.
After a major disaster in Brazil affected an iron ore mine, global shortages caused prices to soar. Federal and regional governments reported major gains, with Western Australia reporting its first surplus in five years – in a large part due to the proceeds from iron ore sales. The Department of Industry reported iron ore sales exceeding $26 billion in Q2 of 2019, but those sales are expected to reach a low of $16.3 billion again in Q3 of 2020.
However, iron ore exports are expected to rise in value again after that. Since coal exports are expected to lose value, iron ore is tipped to remain the most valuable export from Australia in the future. While iron ore, coal, natural gas and gold are Australia's top 4 export goods, travel services, both personal and educational, are the country's biggest service exports.