Sources: United States Geological Survey (2009), BP Statistical Review
of World Energy (2009), Food and Agriculture Organization of the United
Nations (2008), International Monetary Fund (2010), United States
Department of Agriculture (2010).
Share of the World Commodity Consumption, China and United
The growth of China as an export-oriented economy has been accompanied
by an impressive growth in the consumption and import of key commodities. The consumption
of 54% of the world's cement and iron ore is reflective of massive capital
investment and the related construction activity. It must be
considered that a share of the national commodity consumption is
used in the manufacturing of goods that will be exported to foreign
markets. Thus, a share of China's commodity consumption is
attributed to consumption taking place elsewhere, such as in the
United States and Western Europe. These figures also underline that the
"China effect" on the commodity sectors has been highly significant.
Dietary preferences in terms of sources of protein (eggs and pork)
and carbohydrates (rice) underline the size of the Chinese market
for food products.
The United States, which is the world's largest economy measured
in GDP, consumes significantly less resources than China in several
key commodity sectors. The only
commodity which is comparatively consumed more is oil as it
underlines the high level of mobility of the American economy for
passengers and freight. The two economies are in two very different
stages of their economic development. Infrastructure accumulation has entered a phase
of maturity in the United States while China remains within its peak
growth years with a large consumption of construction-based
materials (e.g. iron ore and cement).