Commodity dependence increased over the last decade from 93 countries in 2008–2009 to 101 in 2018–2019, according to UNCTAD’s State of Commodity Dependence 2021 report released on 8 September.
Out of the 101 commodity-dependent countries in 2018-2019, 38 relied on agricultural product exports, 32 on mining exports and 31 on fuels.
The nominal value of world commodity exports reached $4.38 trillion in 2018-2019, a 20% increase compared with 2008-2009, the reports shows.
‘Commodity dependence makes countries more vulnerable to negative economic shocks,’ said UNCTAD’s commodities head, Janvier Nkurunziza. ‘It can have a negative impact on export and fiscal revenues and adversely affect a country’s economic development.’
UNCTAD considers a country to be commodity export dependent when more than 60% of its total merchandise exports are composed of commodities.
Commodity export dependence in Africa and Oceania is particularly noteworthy, with more than three quarters of nations in both regions relying on commodity exports for more than 70% of their total merchandise export revenues, the report said.
It warned that most of the countries are likely to remain trapped for the foreseeable future unless they go through ‘a process of technology-enabled structural transformation’.
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