A country is commodity-dependent when it derives at least 60 per cent of its merchandise export revenues from the commodity sector. Trade data shows that roughly 53 per cent of all UNCTAD member States were commodity dependent in 2018–2019. According to the State of Commodity Dependence 2021 (UNCTAD, 2021), commodity dependence is most widespread among developing countries. In 2018–2019, 64 per cent of developing countries were commodity dependent compared to 53 per cent for transition economies and 13 per cent for developed countries. Therefore, even though commodity dependence is found in all three country groups, the issue is primarily a developing country and, to some extent, transition economies phenomenon. Moreover, the prevalence of commodity dependence does not seem to improve over time. If anything, commodity dependence increases over time. In 2008–2009, 60 per cent of developing countries were commodity dependent, 4 percentage points lower than for the period 2018–2019. Over the same period, commodity dependence increased also in transition economies from 47 per cent to 53 per cent, and in developed countries from 10.5 per cent to 13 per cent, even though the absolute number of commodity dependent countries is much lower than in developing countries.

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