The volume of natural resources traded globally has increased over 60% since the turn of the century, reflecting new economic and geopolitical realities and bringing new environmental and social challenges – as well as opportunities.
Now everyone can explore these fast-evolving dynamics through Chatham House’s comprehensive and accessible data available in our new major interactive website resourcetrade.earth.
The original source of the data is from UN Comtrade and is arguably the most comprehensive source of merchandise trade statistics available: volumetric and monetary value data are catalogued under more than 5,000 HS product codes, and the monetary values of trades are available as far back as 1962. However, it does present several challenges for users focusing on resource trade, not least:
- The scale hinders simple queries: with over 3 billion trade records since 1962, finding the right data is not always easy and the size of data queries can be difficult to manage
- The product-based taxonomy makes tracking natural resource trade challenging
For over 1,350 natural resources and resource-based intermediate- and by-products, resourcetrade.earth reconciles these trade flows into a resource-based hierarchy encompassing agricultural, fishery and forestry products, fossil fuels, metals and other minerals, and pearls and gemstones.
Additionally, expert analysis and insights on different facets of resource trade and its interdependencies will increasingly feature on resourcetrade.earth.