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Iron ore, coal prices to push Australian exports up 32%

The Australian Department of Industry, Innovation and Science estimated the country's resources and energy export to jump 32% year over year to A$215 billion from 2016 to 2017.

The department said in its March quarterly report that the increase was mainly based on higher iron ore and coal prices and an increase in volumes for LNG exports.

Exports from 2017 to 2018 are expected to remain stable at A$215 billion on the back of an increase in LNG exports offset by a decline in iron ore and coal prices.

Resource and energy exports are expected to decline in value after 2017 to 2018, the April 7 report said.

Earnings for the country's biggest export, iron ore, are forecast to increase 50% from 2016 to 2017 to a three-year high of A$72 billion.

Iron ore export earnings in 2017 to 2018 are forecast to decrease to A$62 billion and average A$60 billion in 2018 to 2019.

Meanwhile, metallurgical coal is anticipated to get replaced by LNG as Australia's second biggest commodity export in 2017 to 2018.

China's steel production is expected to drop 0.4% to 805 million tonnes in 2017, mainly due to 50 million tonnes of capacity cuts, partially offset by increased output at remaining mills.

Steel output in China is expected reach 785 million tonnes in 2022, after declining at a rate of 0.5% per year for the next five years.

India's steel production is expected to grow 7.3% per year, to 110 million tonnes in 2018, to become the world's second-largest steel producer, behind China.

India's production is estimated to reach 146 million tonnes in 2022 and achieve a target capacity of 300 million tonnes in 2031, according to the report.

The policies of the new administration in the U.S. under President Donald Trump is expected to result in a 3.8% increase in output in 2017, from 79 million tonnes in 2016.

U.S. steel production in 2018 is estimated to increase 5.2%, to 86 million tonnes, and to further improve to reach 88 million tonnes in 2022.

Global metallurgical coal output is forecast to remain steady at 1.03 billion tonnes in 2022. A decline in production from China is expected to be offset by increased production from Australia and Russia.