Queensland’s overseas merchandise exports for the March quarter 2015 rose 10.8 per cent to $11.4 billion compared to the same period last year, Treasurer Curtis Pitt said.

Mr Pitt said ABS data released this week reveals the total value of merchandise exported from Queensland in the 12 months to March topped $45.2 billion.

“We’re seeing an improving rate of merchandise export growth in Queensland,” he said.

“The increase in the value of exports over the year to March was driven by a rise in exports of meat, coal and the third month of LNG exports.

“LNG exports from the Port of Gladstone commenced in early January 2015, with $328 million exported in the March quarter – and there’s a whole lot more to come.

“This is an outstanding success for one of our newest export industries – an industry developed and nurtured by successive State Labor governments.

“Queensland’s LNG exports are expected to ramp up over the next year and a half as all three projects become fully operational.

“Queensland’s coal exports also rose 4.1 per cent over the year, to $6.2 billion in March quarter 2015.”

According to the ABS data, Queensland meat exports rose 26.8 per cent over the year to March quarter 2015, mostly driven by an increase in beef export prices.

“Beef exports, which make up the majority of Queensland’s overseas meat shipments, amounted to $1.1 billion in March quarter 2015,” he said.

“Despite the damage Cyclone Marcia caused to two large beef processing plants in Central Queensland, export volumes of beef in the March quarter 2015 were higher than the corresponding quarter last year.

“Meanwhile, Queensland minerals exports rose 3.2 per cent over the year, hitting $1.9 billion in the March quarter 2015.

“This growth was driven by strong aluminium exports, which was partly offset by falls in the value of both copper and lead exports.”

The ABS data also shows that Queensland’s crops exports grew by 23.6%, with grain sorghum and chickpeas experiencing strong growth, up $11 million and $47 million respectively over the year to March quarter 2015.