Environment Database - Material resources
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Last update: September 2017

2016 data for European countries is provisional

The data presented come from the OECD pilot database on material flows, and from other national and international sources.

The definitions used are based on the OECD Guide «Measuring material flows and resource productivity» and on ongoing international work on material flow accounting and analysis (MFA).

It should be born in mind that the data should be interpreted with caution and that the time series presented here may change in future as work on methodologies for MF accounting progresses. Furthermore, data contain rough estimates for OECD and BRIICS aggregates.

These data refer to material resources, i.e. materials originating from natural resources that form the material basis of the economy: metals (ferrous, non-ferrous) non-metallic minerals (construction minerals, industrial minerals), biomass (wood, food) and fossil energy carriers.

The use of materials in production and consumption processes has many economic, social and environmental consequences. These consequences often extend beyond the borders of countries or regions, notably when materials are traded internationally, either in the form of raw materials or as products embodying them. They differ among the various materials and among the various stages of the resource life cycle (extraction, processing, use, transport, end-of-life management). From an environmental point of view these consequences depend on:

  • the rate of extraction and depletion of renewable and non-renewable resource stocks
  • the extent of harvest and the reproductive capacity and natural productivity of renewable resources
  • the associated environmental burden (e.g. pollution, waste, habitat disruption), and its effects on environmental quality (e.g. air, water, soil, biodiversity, landscape) and on related environmental services

These data inform about physical flows of material resources at various levels of detail and at various stages of the flow chain. The information shows:

a) the material basis of economies and its composition by major material groups, considering:

  • the extraction of raw materials;
  • the trade balance in physical terms;
  • the consumption of materials;
  • the material inputs

b) the consumption of selected materials that are of environmental and economic significance.

c) in-use stocks of selected products that are of environmental and economic significance.

Domestic extraction used (DEU) refers to the flows of raw materials extracted or harvested from the environment and that physically enter the economic system for further processing or direct consumption (they are used by the economy as material factor inputs).

Imports (IMP) and exports (EXP) are major components of the direct material flow indicators DMI (domestic material input) and DMC (domestic material consumption). They cannot be taken as indication of domestic resource requirements.

Domestic material consumption (DMC) refers to the amount of materials directly used in an economy, which refers to the apparent consumption of materials. DMC is computed as DEU minus exports plus imports.

Direct material input (DMI) is computed as DEU plus imports.

The material groups are:

Food: food crops (e.g. cereals, roots, sugar and oil bearing crops, fruits, vegetables), fodder crops (including grazing), wild animals (essentially marine catches), small amounts of non-edible biomass (e.g. fibres, rubber), and related products including livestock.

Wood: harvested wood and traded products essentially made of wood (paper, furniture, etc.).

Construction minerals: non-metallic construction minerals whether primary or processed. They comprise marble, granite, sandstone, porphyry, basalt, other ornamental or building stone (excluding slate); chalk and dolomite; sand and gravel; clays and kaolin; limestone and gypsum.

Industrial minerals: non-metallic industrial minerals whether primary or processed (e.g. salts, arsenic, potash, phosphate rocks, sulphates, asbestos).

Metals: metal ores, metals and products mainly made of metals.

Fossil energy materials/carriers: coal, crude oil, natural gas and peat, as well as manufactured products predominantly made of fossil fuels (e.g. plastics, synthetic rubber).

Environment Database - Material resourcesContact person/organisation
ENV.Stat@oecd.org
Key statistical concept

Last update: September 2017

2016 data for European countries is provisional

The data presented come from the OECD pilot database on material flows, and from other national and international sources.

The definitions used are based on the OECD Guide «Measuring material flows and resource productivity» and on ongoing international work on material flow accounting and analysis (MFA).

It should be born in mind that the data should be interpreted with caution and that the time series presented here may change in future as work on methodologies for MF accounting progresses. Furthermore, data contain rough estimates for OECD and BRIICS aggregates.

These data refer to material resources, i.e. materials originating from natural resources that form the material basis of the economy: metals (ferrous, non-ferrous) non-metallic minerals (construction minerals, industrial minerals), biomass (wood, food) and fossil energy carriers.

The use of materials in production and consumption processes has many economic, social and environmental consequences. These consequences often extend beyond the borders of countries or regions, notably when materials are traded internationally, either in the form of raw materials or as products embodying them. They differ among the various materials and among the various stages of the resource life cycle (extraction, processing, use, transport, end-of-life management). From an environmental point of view these consequences depend on:

  • the rate of extraction and depletion of renewable and non-renewable resource stocks
  • the extent of harvest and the reproductive capacity and natural productivity of renewable resources
  • the associated environmental burden (e.g. pollution, waste, habitat disruption), and its effects on environmental quality (e.g. air, water, soil, biodiversity, landscape) and on related environmental services

These data inform about physical flows of material resources at various levels of detail and at various stages of the flow chain. The information shows:

a) the material basis of economies and its composition by major material groups, considering:

  • the extraction of raw materials;
  • the trade balance in physical terms;
  • the consumption of materials;
  • the material inputs

b) the consumption of selected materials that are of environmental and economic significance.

c) in-use stocks of selected products that are of environmental and economic significance.

Domestic extraction used (DEU) refers to the flows of raw materials extracted or harvested from the environment and that physically enter the economic system for further processing or direct consumption (they are used by the economy as material factor inputs).

Imports (IMP) and exports (EXP) are major components of the direct material flow indicators DMI (domestic material input) and DMC (domestic material consumption). They cannot be taken as indication of domestic resource requirements.

Domestic material consumption (DMC) refers to the amount of materials directly used in an economy, which refers to the apparent consumption of materials. DMC is computed as DEU minus exports plus imports.

Direct material input (DMI) is computed as DEU plus imports.

The material groups are:

Food: food crops (e.g. cereals, roots, sugar and oil bearing crops, fruits, vegetables), fodder crops (including grazing), wild animals (essentially marine catches), small amounts of non-edible biomass (e.g. fibres, rubber), and related products including livestock.

Wood: harvested wood and traded products essentially made of wood (paper, furniture, etc.).

Construction minerals: non-metallic construction minerals whether primary or processed. They comprise marble, granite, sandstone, porphyry, basalt, other ornamental or building stone (excluding slate); chalk and dolomite; sand and gravel; clays and kaolin; limestone and gypsum.

Industrial minerals: non-metallic industrial minerals whether primary or processed (e.g. salts, arsenic, potash, phosphate rocks, sulphates, asbestos).

Metals: metal ores, metals and products mainly made of metals.

Fossil energy materials/carriers: coal, crude oil, natural gas and peat, as well as manufactured products predominantly made of fossil fuels (e.g. plastics, synthetic rubber).