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Australia Sees Higher Commodity Exports, Lifts Iron-Ore Estimate

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March 20 (Bloomberg) -- Australia, the world’s biggest shipper of iron ore, expects to earn more from the export of minerals and energy resources next fiscal year after raising its price forecast for the steelmaking raw material.

The value of exports may total A$205 billion ($213 billion) in the year ending June 30, 2014, the Canberra-based Bureau of Resources and Energy Economics said in a report today. Export earnings may be A$186 billion in the year ending June 30, it said. The bureau expects iron ore prices to average $119 a ton in 2013, compared with a December estimate of $106 a ton.

Iron ore has dropped 7.3 percent in 2013 as industrial output in China, the largest buyer, had the weakest start to a year since 2009 and concern rose that curbs on construction in the country will reduce demand for the steelmaking material. Goldman Sachs Group Inc. cut its estimate for iron ore yesterday on expectations demand will moderate and steel production will slow in China, joining analysts from Morgan Stanley to Deutsche Bank AG to Credit Suisse Group AG in forecasting lower prices.

Iron ore with 62 percent content delivered to the Chinese port of Tianjin slipped 0.2 percent to $134.40 a dry ton yesterday, according to the Steel Index Ltd. Swaps were trading at $132 a ton for April, $127.50 for the second quarter and $121.25 for the third, according to SSY Futures Ltd., a broker.

To contact the reporter for this story: Phoebe Sedgman in Melbourne at psedgman2@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: James Poole at jpoole4@bloomberg.net

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