Australia may not strike you as a huge economy or a huge influential nation but it is that devil in disguise ready to fool you at any given time of any given day. Australia is the ultimate commodity center with its amazing natural resources and its abundance.

When looking at the country’s natural resources the focus tends to be as its status as the world’s biggest exporter of iron ore and liquefied natural gas (LNG), and its competition with Indonesia as the top shipper of coal is bound to make it emerge on top soon. But this ignores that Australia is also the world’s second-largest gold producer after China, even though giving its export earnings from resources a hedge should growth commodities start to suffer as a result of a slowing global economy and maybe even local economy. In effect, Australia is the also world’s largest gold exporter in some terms, given China is still a significant net gold importer in other terms. The importance of gold to Australia was bought to light in the latest Resources and Energy Quarterly, released on Monday 7th October 2019 by the Department of Industry, Innovation, and Science. The report forecast earnings from gold exports to rise to A$25 billion ($16.9 billion) in the fiscal year that started on July 1, up 32% from A$19 billion in the year that ended on June 30.

That A$6 billion increase is an exact match to the decrease expected in earnings from exports of thermal coal used in power plants, with the value forecast to drop to A$20 billion in 2019/20 from A$26 billion in 2018/19. This increase is sure to make gold Australia’s fourth-most valuable commodity export, behind iron ore, LNG and coking coal used in steel-making.