Volumes overtake prices as resource exports boom

THE mineral price boom has given way to rises in commodity volumes, with resource exports growing 10% last year - double the annual rate of the entire previous decade.

New data on Australia's trade composition was released by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade on Friday.

It showed a record $69.5 billion worth of iron ore was exported in 2013, up 27.6% on 2012 figures, followed by healthy growth in aluminium, beef and gas exports.

The figures confirm the nation's resource prices boom has given way to production and rising volumes as projects developed in recent years start operating.

Among the top exports on volume growth was natural gas, up 8.8% or $14.6 billion, aluminium up 11.9% or 45.9 billion and beef up 19.8% or $5.7 billion.

Australia's top five biggest merchandise exports again were found in resources, with iron ore, coal, gas, gold and crude petroleum representing 56% of all commodities.

However coal, Queensland's key export, took a small hit during 2013; down 3.6% from $41.2 billion in 2012 to $39.8 billion last year.