More than 100 countries depend on raw material exports
Heavy dependence on commodities has increased globally, leaving around two-thirds of developing countries vulnerable to economic shocks such as sharp fluctuations in commodity prices.
Commodity dependence has increased over the past decade, from 93 countries in 2008-2009 to 101 in 2018-2019, according to the UNCTAD report on the state of dependence on commodities. base 2021 published on September 8. The face value of global commodity exports reached $ 4.38 trillion in 2018-19, a 20 percent increase from 2008-2009, according to the report.
“Dependence on raw materials makes countries more vulnerable to negative economic shocks,” said Janvier Nkurunziza, head of raw materials at UNCTAD. “This can have a negative impact on exports and tax revenues and harm the economic development of a country.” UNCTAD considers a country to be dependent on commodity exports when more than 60% of its total merchandise exports are commodities.
Most of the countries that depended on commodities in 2008-2009 remained so in 2018-2019, according to the report, highlighting the persistence of this phenomenon.
In addition, dependence on commodities tends to mainly affect developing countries, with 87 of them considered commodity dependent in 2018-2019.
Of the 101 commodity-dependent countries in 2018-19, 38 depended on agricultural exports, 32 on mining exports and 31 on fuels.
The dependence on commodity exports in Africa and Oceania is particularly noteworthy, with more than three-quarters of countries in both regions depending on commodity exports for more than 70% of their total export earnings. of goods, according to the report.
It is particularly high in Central and West Africa, where it is set at around 95%. In these two sub-regions, all countries were commodity dependent in 2018-2019, except the Central African Republic.
In South America, the 12 countries had a level of commodity dependence above 60% in 2018-2019, and for three quarters of them, the share of commodity exports in merchandise exports exceeded 80%. Central Asia was the subregion with the highest level of commodity dependence in Asia, with an average share of commodity exports in merchandise exports above 85% in 2018-2019.
The five countries in the sub-region were considered to be dependent on commodity exports in 2018-2019.
The number 2021 is the fifth edition of the “UNCTAD State of Commodity Dependence” series. It provides statistical overviews and individual profiles with commodity-related information for the 195 UNCTAD member states. – UNCTAD