Exploring Interdependencies in Global Resource Trade

resourcetrade.earth features powerful interactive visualisations that provide easy access to an extensive and authoritative database of international trade in natural resources, developed from United Nations data. The Chatham House Resource Trade database reorganizes UN Comtrade data into a natural resource hierarchy, covering trade in over 1,350 different types of natural resources and resource products, including agricultural, fishery and forestry products, fossil fuels, metals and other minerals, and pearls and gemstones. The site allows users to easily interrogate resource trade flows between more than 200 countries and territories since the year 2000, by monetary value and by weight, at varying degrees of granularity and aggregation.The political economy of natural resources is increasingly shaped by large, structural shifts in the changing natural environment, in the deepening interrelationship between resource systems and actors, and in the rebalancing of global income and power. We consider these dynamics in the stories section of the site, which provides detailed explorations of different facets of resource trade and the economic, political, and environmental implications of resource interdependencies. Featuring expert analysis and insights from Chatham House and others, this section will continue to expand with new content over time. We launch with an overarching look at the scale and significance of resource trade, and Professor Tim Benton considers the state of agricultural trade, food security, and the potential impacts of an outbreak of protectionism affecting the key food commodities.


For the first time, resourcetrade.earth opens up complex patterns of resource trade for examination by non-experts as well as policy-makers, civil society groups, business analysts, and everyone with an interest in resource trade dynamics and their environmental impacts.

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