Queensland export cottonRecently released figures indicate that Queensland exports have continued to rise in value over the past year, despite the impact of Severe Tropical Cyclone Debbie, which hit the state in March.

Treasurer and Minister for Trade and Investment Curtis Pitt said the latest ABS figures showed the value of Queensland merchandise exports had grown 32.2% — or an increase of $15.5 billion — in the past year, to reach $63.4 billion in the 12 months to May 2017.

He said a significant rise in the value of coal exports was the primary driver behind the record export total, but exports of some agricultural commodities also rose in value.

‘The significant rise was driven largely by an increase in the value of coal exports, primarily hard-coking coal and, to a lesser extent, LNG exports,’ he said.

‘This was despite the impacts of TC Debbie, which caused significant disruption to coal exports in the May quarter.

‘While the volume of coal exports was down by an estimated 13.4 million tonnes compared to a year earlier, the nominal values were supported by a surge in coal prices.’

Mr Pitt said a number of agricultural exports also rose in value in the May quarter compared with the same period last year.

‘Crops exports increased $180 million over the year to May quarter 2017 to $474 million, driven largely by an increase in chickpea exports and, to a lesser extent, wheat,’ he said.

‘Cotton exports rose $61 million over the year to $188 million in the May quarter.’

Mr Pitt said the Queensland Government aimed to build on the state’s current record export performance, with a key focus on implementing the Queensland Trade and Investment Strategy 2017–2022.

‘We know the value of exports is counted in more than dollars,’ he said.

‘At present one in five jobs in our state is supported by exports, so as we build exports we can build jobs as well, especially in regional communities.’

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