A predicted freefall in iron ore prices could have a significant impact on Australia’s export earnings this year, according to a new report.

The volume of Australia's resources (mineral and fuels) exports grew over 10 per cent in 2013 – almost double the annual rate of the last decade – according to Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade statistics.

Australia’s resource and energy commodity export earnings are expected to reach $206 billion in 2011-12, says the quarterly report by the Bureau of Resources and Energy Economics.

Australia’s strong trade performance persisted throughout October, in the face of a strong Australian dollar and uncertain global economic conditions, with a $1.6 billion surplus, according to figures from the ABS.