MELBOURNE- Australia has raised its outlook for mining and energy export earnings to a record A$379 billion ($272 billion) for the current fiscal year as coal and gas shortages in China and Europe pump up prices, the government said on Monday.

However, the risks to the forecast are "skewed to the downside", the Department of Industry said in its quarterly resources and energy outlook. Coal prices could drop faster than expected, and higher interest rates and new strains of the coronavirus could hit global growth, it warned.

Annual mining and energy export revenue is expected to jump 22% in the year to June 2022, up from a previous forecast of A$349 billion. 

"Coal is the star performer. Australia's high-quality coal is finding new markets across Asia, including India, with Australian producers enjoying record price increases across all grades of coal," Resources Minister Keith Pitt said in a statement.

Rising consumption in China, India and the United States could bring global coal-fired power demand to an all-time high this year, undermining efforts to cut greenhouse gas emissions, the International Energy Agency (IEA) said on Friday.

The government raised its forecast for thermal coal export earnings to A$35 billion for 2021-22, more than double last year's revenue and up from its previous projection of A$24 billion. Prices have been buoyed by utilities racing to stock up for winter.

"With energy inventories lower than normal, the severity of the remainder of the Northern Hemisphere winter will have a critical influence on energy markets in the short term," the department said.

Coal and gas price gains have more than offset a drop in iron ore prices, Australia's top commodity export, to an 18-month low.

Metallurgical coal exports are projected to earn A$54 billion in 2021-22, up 134% on last year up from an earlier forecast of A$33 billion, partly due to surging prices caused by supply disruptions.

LNG export earnings are expected to more than double to A$63 billion in 2021-22, due to soaring oil-linked contract prices. ($1 = 1.3949 Australian dollars)

(Reporting by Sonali Paul; Editing by Lincoln Feast.) ((; +61 407 119 523;))