chapter  6
10 Pages

Commodities

The problems facing primary commodities (agricultural primary commodities

and mineral commodities, but not fuel) are closely related to those afflicting agri-

culture, because about 80 per cent of commodity exports-for developing coun-

tries and for the world-are agricultural. Despite progress in diversifying exports

and broadening national economic structures, most developing countries-86 of

144 for which data are available-still depend on commodities for more than half

their export earnings. This number has remained virtually constant for the past ten

years. Moreover, for many countries a large share of export income comes from

only one commodity or just a few. For 55 countries, three commodities together

account for more than half of export earnings.