THE latest trade figures have again revealed the importance of the resources sector to the Australian economy as we deal with the global downturn caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Federal Minister for Resources, Water and Northern Australia, Keith Pitt, said the sector has shown resilience in a very challenging period.

“Total resources and energy exports in the four weeks to April are up by 1.4% on the same period last year to $92.1 billion, which is a remarkable result,” Minister Pitt said.

“Iron ore continues to be a key contributor with exports totalling $31.6 billion in the first four months of 2020, which is a 21.3% increase on 2019.

“And over the same period, LNG exports were up by one per cent on the previous year, valued at $16.9 billion in the four months to April.

“As expected with global construction and manufacturing going into decline as the coronavirus pandemic grips some of our key trading partners, month-on-month figures fell by 11.5% in April,” Minister Pitt said.

“There are obviously some challenges ahead as the world fights to contain the COVID-19 pandemic but I remain confident that once the crisis passes, resources and energy exports will play a key role in Australia’s economic recovery.

“We knew the coronavirus would deliver a massive blow to our economy but it would have been so much worse if not for the contribution of our coal, iron ore and LNG exports,” Minister Pitt said.

“I again thank the resources companies and the men and women who work for them for going above and beyond with what they’ve done to keep their workers and local communities safe, which has allowed mines to keep operating.

“I look forward to working with the sector as we emerge from the pandemic to create further job and economic opportunities for our country,” Minister Pitt said.