SYDNEY, June 26 Australia, the world's biggest producer of iron ore, forecast a 14 percent rise in exports in the 2013/14 fiscal year as the country's big miners press ahead with multi-billion-dollar expansions despite signs demand growth is softening.
The Bureau of Resources and Energy Economics (BREE) predicted iron ore exports of 610 million tonnes in the financial year that begins July 1 after upgrading its forecast for the current year by 11 million tonnes to 533 million tonnes.
The government agency also forecast a small rise in exports of both thermal and metallugical coal.
Total energy and resource exports were forecast to rise 11 percent to A$197 billion ($182 billion), helped by an assumed depreciation in the Australian dollar. ($1 = 1.0818 Australian dollars) (Reporting by James Regan and Lincoln Feast; Editing by Richard Pullin)