Australia's resource and energy exports have taken a $19 billion hit because of falling iron ore and coal prices, figures out today reveal.

The Bureau of Resources and Energy Economics, in its quarterly outlook, said this morning that the resource and energy sector would export commodities valued at $189 billion this financial year year.

It is a nine per cent, or $19 billion, reduction on what the bureau had originally forecast.

BREE chief economist Quentin Grafton said the newest forecasts showed two distinct trends.

"The prices of many resources have moderated from historic highs in 2011 and further declines are expected over the medium term in US dollar terms relative to these peaks," Prof Grafton said.

"Second, Australian export volumes, especially in terms of bulk commodities, are growing rapidly and are expected to do so for several years to come."

Volumes of most commodities are tipped to grow.

LNG exports are forecast to increase by 21 per cent his financial year, thermal coal by 14 per cent, metallurgical coal by 12 per cent, copper by 10 per cent and iron ore by eight per cent to more than 500 million tonnes.

But the surge in volumes will not be enough to counteract the big drop in prices.

The world price for iron ore is now forecast to fall by 27 per cent.

Iron ore exports, which reaped Australia $63 billion in 2011-12, are tipped to bring in $53 billion this financial year.

Going forward, BREE is forecasting the spot iron ore price to average $US101 through calender year 2013.

However, that forecast is predicated on a lower price through the early months of next year before stimulus efforts in China push up the pirce.

Last night it improved slightly to $US103 a tonne.

Metallurgical coal prices are expected to fall by 28 per cent this year, bringing down the value of exports from $30.7 billion to $26 billion.

The only major improvement on the price front is for LNG, with prices expected to increase by 12 per cent. This will take total LNG exports to more than $16 billion, up from $12 billion in the financial year just finished.

The West Australian

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