This paper reviews movements in raw materials consumption over the past 30 years. Included in this review are all base metals and steel, and important agricultural raw materials. These primary commodities share the common characteristic that they are used as inputs in manufacturing and construction. Some metals and minerals, energy commodities, and timber products are not included in this review for various reasons. The period reviewed is from 1961 to 1988. A prominent characteristic of the metals market during the past 15 years has been its very slow growth. In some years consumption of several raw materials has even declined. Explaining the causes of this slowdown, in the face of moderate economic growth, has become a topical issue. The slowdown has important implications for a number of developing countries that rely heavily on exports of these materials. The severity and persistence of post-1973 declines in metals intensity per unit of GNP, prompted the conjecture that it may have been structural. This paper reviews the debate on this issue, including results of statistical tests. It also summarizes the trends in raw materials consumption and reviews the technological developments relating to raw materials consumption.
Mining&Extractive Industry (Non-Energy),Montreal Protocol,Sanitation and Sewerage,Primary Metals,Environmental Economics&Policies
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