Australia's surging exports point to next mining phase

Australia's exports increased by 11% in the last quarter suggesting it is in stage three of the resources boom, reports the Brisbane Times.

The third stage is when the resources economy moves from investments to exports, according to the model developed by Australian economist Bob Gregory.

With climbing exports and declining imports, the country saw an overall $5.6 billion increase in the country's trade balance with a $367 million surplus in the last quarter, based on data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics. This was up from a deficit of $5.2 billion at the end of last year.

In particular, mining exports had their best month in March in almost twelve months — $14.85 billion.

Iron ore and other metals increased by $2.2 billion or 11%.

Meanwhile, imports of construction machinery, most of which is for mining investment, decreased by 44% in the six months ending March.

This import decline signals the mining sector is moving into that third stage.

Further, Australia's Bureau of Resource and Energy Economics projects in the next five years that resource exports will grow 28%.