The world economy may be in turmoil but Australia can breathe a sigh of relief - its mineral and energy exports are tipped to surge more than 50 per cent this year to $180 billion.
Federal government researchers say Australia's energy exports - forecast to almost double in 2008-09 - will drive the boom.
Coal, oil and LNG will be the mainstay of $90 billion in energy exports, according to a report issued on Monday by the Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics (ABARE).
The surging energy sector is catching up with mining, with both tipped to rake in about $90 billion this year.
Mineral exports are forecast to rise 25 per cent in 2008-09, with iron ore the star performer.
Exports were looking good, ABARE's executive director Phillip Glyde said
"The short-term prospects for energy and mineral commodities remain positive, supported by continued demand growth and supply-side constraints."
He said while farm exports also were tipped to rise, the picture was looking rosier for crops than for meat.
Crop exports are tipped to rise 24 per cent to $16 billion, although more spring rain is needed.
Strong earnings are forecast for wheat, barley, canola, pulses, sorghum, sugar and wine.
Meat and livestock exports are tipped to drop three per cent to $14 billion as the easing drought in some area prompts farmers to hold back stock to rebuild their herds.
In total, Australia's commodity exports are forecast to increase to a record $214 billion this financial year.
ABARE's forecast is contained in the September issue of its publication Australian Commodities.
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