Grim news for mining in quarterly industry report

FUNDS flowing in from Australia's mining exports have crashed, with a leading authority on the resources industry predicting a national fall of $6 billion.

The Bureau of Resources and Energy Economics has delivered the grim news through its quarterly industry report released on Wednesday.

It will come as little surprise to those watching the industry, as sector powerhouses BHP Billiton, Rio Tinto, Anglo American and Xstrata publicly stating they were obsessed with cutting costs.

But the scale of the fall - down to $186 billion - could not have been known before this report was released.

The group's executive director Quentin Grafton said the higher Australian dollar worked alongside tumbling export prices to cut the value of mineral exports across the country by 3%.

However, Mr Grafton said a recovery would begin with the new financial year, with industry figures to stay healthy until at least 2018.

Coal exports were expected to rise each year by between 7% and 11% for those five years.

The soon-to-be booming gas industry will drag up export figures in coming years, he said, as exports of liquefied natural gas - refined from coal seam gas - increases by 500%.

It will become Australia's second biggest export earner, second only to iron ore.

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