Skip to main content

More developing nations now dependent on commodity exports: UN report (downtoearth)

Nine more developing economies became dependent on commodity exports between 2010 and 2015, bringing the total to 91—two-thirds of all the 135 developing countries, a recently published UN report claims.

Titled ‘The State of Commodity Dependence Report’, the report also shows that during the same period the value of commodity exports from developing countries increased from US$2.04 trillion to $2.55 trillion, a jump of 25 per cent.

Total commodity exports: 2009-10 and 2014-15. Credit: UNCTAD
Total commodity exports: 2009-10 and 2014-15. Credit: UNCTAD

Out of the nine new Commodity Dependent Developing Countries (CDDCs), seven of them are from Africa and two from Asia and Oceania. Most of the CDDCs were mainly exporters of agricultural products in 2014-15, claims the report. They were followed by exporters of fuels, minerals and metals.

The trend of strong commodity dependence was observed in more countries (61) in 2014-15 as compared to 2009-10 when the trend was present in 56 countries. What is alarming is the fact that out of the 10 CDDCs, about seven could be considered as strongly dependent on commodity export. According to the report, the situation deteriorated in Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean.

When it comes to India, the total value of commodity exports has increased by 44.3 per cent from $84,861 million in 2009-10 to $122,500 million in 2014-15.

A country is considered dependent on commodities when its commodity exports account for more than 60 per cent of its total merchandise exports in value terms. When this share exceeds 80 per cent in a particular country, it is considered "strongly” dependent on commodity export.

Limited number of commodities

More worryingly, export is concentrated on a small range of products, with 73 of 91 countries relying on three commodities for the bulk of their earnings. If these developing nations are exporting, it is the European Union and China that are buying these commodities. Together, they form 25 per cent of the total market share for commodities from Asia and Oceania.

Composition of commodity exports 2014-15. Credit: UNCTAD
Composition of commodity exports 2014-15. Credit: UNCTAD

Impact on human development index

Commodity dependence can have a negative effect on human development indicators like life expectancy, education and per capita income. According to the report, about two-thirds of the CDDCs recorded a low or medium human development index in 2014-2015. However, in Africa, about 93 per cent of the export dependent developing countries were part of the low and medium categories in 2014.


Popular posts from this blog

SC asks Centre to strike a balance on Rohingya issue (.hindu)

Supreme Court orally indicates that the government should not deport Rohingya “now” as the Centre prevails over it to not record any such views in its formal order, citing “international ramifications”.

The Supreme Court on Friday came close to ordering the government not to deport the Rohingya.

It finally settled on merely observing that a balance should be struck between humanitarian concern for the community and the country's national security and economic interests.

The court was hearing a bunch of petitions, one filed by persons within the Rohingya community, against a proposed move to deport over 40,000 Rohingya refugees. A three-judge Bench, led by Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra, began by orally indicating that the government should not deport Rohingya “now”, but the government prevailed on the court to not pass any formal order, citing “international ramifications”. With this, the status quo continues even though the court gave the community liberty to approach it in …

Khar’s experimentation with Himalayan nettle brings recognition (downtoearth)

Nature never fails to surprise us. In many parts of the world, natural resources are the only source of livelihood opportunities available to people. They can be in the form of wild shrubs like Daphne papyracea and Daphne bholua (paper plant) that are used to make paper or Gossypium spp (cotton) that forms the backbone of the textile industry.

Nothing can compete with the dynamism of biological resources. Recently, Girardinia diversifolia (Himalayan nettle), a fibre-yielding plant, has become an important livelihood option for people living in the remote mountainous villages of the Hindu Kush Himalaya.

There is a community in Khar, a hamlet in Darchula district in far-western Nepal, which produces fabrics from Himalayan nettle. The fabric and the things made from it are sold in local as well as national and international markets as high-end products.

A Himalayan nettle value chain development initiative implemented by the Kailash Sacred Landscape Conservation and Development Initiati…

India’s criminal wastage: over 10 million works under MGNREGA incomplete or abandoned (hindu)

In the last three and half years, the rate of work completion under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) has drastically declined, leading to wastage of public money and leaving villages more prone to drought. This could also be a reason for people moving out of the programme.

At a time when more than one-third of India’s districts are reeling under a drought-like situation due to deficit rainfall, here comes another bad news. The works started under the MGNREGA—close to 80 per cent related to water conservation, irrigation and land development—are increasingly not being completed or in practice, abandoned.

Going by the data (as on October 12) in the Ministry of Rural Development’s website, which tracks progress of MGNREGA through a comprehensive MIS, 10.4 million works have not been completed since April 2014. In the last three and half years, 39.7 million works were started under the programme. Going by the stipulation under the programme, close to 7…