The materials sector comprises of stocks for companies that are involved in the discovery, processing and development of raw materials. The sector includes companies which are engaged in processing chemical products (fertilizers, industrial gases, etc.), metals and mining, refining, and forestry products. These are all processed and manufactured as raw materials for other industries/companies that further develop them into finished goods for consumers. Australia has the world’s most diverse and plentiful mineral and energy reserves with a relatively unexplored surface and sub-surface geology. The technical and project delivery leadership of Australian resources companies is recognised and highly sought after. Australia is now home to a world class mining services sector.
The sector comprises several of the world’s largest diversified resource companies, including global giants such as BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto, as well as a representation of potential future industry leaders in the mid-tier producers and junior miners. Australia is one of the world’s major producers and exporter of precious metals. Precious metals above all gold and silver have held a high fascination since time immemorial.
Australia’s major commodities comprises of Iron Ore, Gold, Wheat, Copper Ore, and Coal Briquettes. Australia is the world’s leading exporter of iron ore head to China which accounts 84% of the country’s exports. Australia is the sixth largest exporter of gold in the world whereas Wheat market is the fourth largest export market. Australia is the fourth largest exporter of copper ore in the world and also is the leading exporter of coal briquettes where bulk of production is in New South Wales, Queensland and Victoria.
Australia’s building materials companies to name a few are Adelaide Brighton Ltd, Brickworks Limited, Boral Limited, CSR Limited, Fletcher Building Limited and James Hardie Industries plc. These companies deal in wide array of products right from buiding to land & development division. Boral Australia is the country’s largest construction materials and building products supplier with operations in all states and territories.
A surge in population, representing millennial than baby boomers is expected to drive the demand for more consumables like beverages, packaged and ready meals, packaged drinking water, convenience packages like microwave and oven safe, among others, which prefer plastic packaging medium over other alternatives owing high portability enabled by lightweight of the plastics. The changing consumer preferences, from alcoholic and carbonated beverages, to organic and dairy beverages, are creating immense market opportunities for flexible packaging vendors in the country.
The Wood and Paper Industry produces a wide range of products including sawntimber, wooden structure, fittings, manufactured boards, decorative veneers, furniture, parquetry, market chip and pulp, paper, paperboard and paper products. The major industry sectors are pulp and paper, sawmilling and wood-based panels. The sawntimber sector is the largest processor of wood in Australia. Almost 50 per cent of wood is converted to sawntimber. This sector is the most geographically dispersed and accounts for over 20 per cent of the industry’s employment.
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