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Mining & Resources

China continues to play crucial role in Australia’s mining sector

11 Apr 2014, by Informa Insights

China has always enjoyed a strong business relationship with Australia, particularly as the latter’s mining industry rose to prominence. A recent analysis of Australian mineral exports to key Asian markets suggests this will continue to be the case.

The Minerals Council of Australia (MCA) released its latest export figures at the start of this month, which once again show that China remains the biggest export destination in Asia. According to the MCA, the total value of all mineral exports to China over 2012-13 was $62 billion.

In light of recent events such as the Indonesian export ban, it is crucial that China maintains strong mineral trade links with its key partners such as Australia.

China NickelIron ore and concentrates made up the bulk of these exports, accounting for a total of $42 billion. This represents a massive growth from the value of $6.8 billion that was recorded in 2005-06 – an increase of 517 per cent, in fact.

Coal followed in a distant second place with $7.5 billion, while gold made up $6 billion of the export value.

The significance of China as a vital mineral export partner cannot be understated. The MCA revealed that in 2012-13, mineral exports accounted for almost three-quarters (73 per cent) of total goods and services exports to China.

While other major Asian nations such as Japan and Korea are also key mineral export targets for Australia, their value pales in comparison with China. For instance, the total mineral export value to Japan in 2012-13 was less than half of that to China ($25.7 billion), while exports to Korea totalled $12.7 billion.

However, it’s not just exports through which China has a strong tie with Australia’s mining sector. The Australian Trade Commission recently cited figures from PwC’s ‘Trends in M&A’ report and revealed that Australia is China’s third largest outbound investment destination, behind only the USA and Canada.

Unsurprisingly, mining has been the “dominant driver” behind much of China’s investment in Australia, the Trade Commission revealed.

The China Nickel conference will discuss the latest in China’s nickel and stainless steel market, providing a meeting point for the global nickel and stainless steel industries doing business with China’s dynamic market.

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