Nature Dependent Trade

Sovereign Risk, Financial Risk & Reward, Multi-Asset

The invasion of Ukraine has pushed sovereign states to reflect on the types of governments with which they trade. Initially, many democratic governments assessed their exposure to non-renewable natural capital trade – notably oil & gas as well as metals & ores.

Planet Tracker has developed a dashboard that maps the trade of key renewable agricultural exports to their sources by political systems. Most exposed to disruption from non-democratic states are cotton, fish and cereals, in descending order. Meat could be vulnerable if feedstock supplies were impacted.

June 2022 Update

To focus on the rise of protectionism associated with food commodities, Planet Tracker added a new sheet to the dashboard, which explores which countries have introduced export restrictions of food products.

The new sheet shows that non-democratic countries are more likely to impose food export restrictions while the leading nature dependent exporters (NDEs) are more resistant to imposing trade restrictions.

How to use the dashboard:

This dashboard is made of multiple tabs, you can switch between them using the navigator at the top.

The first tab (The Politics of Export Restrictions) is a June 2022 update which explores the rise of protectionism associated with food prices. Select product type (All, Fertilizers or Food Products) and the type of export restriction (Ban, Licensing or Tax) in the filter on the right, or click on a product to see which countries restricted its exports.

The subsequent tabs map the trade of key agricultural exports to their sources by political system.

Hover your mouse over the bar charts to examine individual countries data. The first three tabs show aggregated categories:

  • All Nature Dependent (Renewable and Non-Renewable) goods
  • Nature Dependent (Renewable only) goods
  • Nature Dependent (Non-Renewable only) goods

The subsequent tabs show individual categories.

Definitions and citations:

Planet Tracker examined each country’s export data from 2011 to 2020 by using amended UN Comtrade goods categories, a repository of official international trade statistics, as provided by CEPII’s BACI dataset.

For data on export restrictions of food products, Planet Tracker used the Food Security Portal which is facilitated by IFPRI.

Planet Tracker used the Economist Intelligence Unit’s (EIU) Democracy Index for classifying the type of political regime. The Democracy Index is based on five categories: electoral process and pluralism, functioning of government, political participation, political culture, and civil liberties. Based on scores on a range of indicators within these categories, each country is then classified as one of four types of regime:

  • full democracy
  • flawed democracy
  • hybrid regime
  • authoritarian regime

Planet Tracker has classified full democracy and flawed democracy as ‘democratic’ and hybrid regime and authoritarian as ‘non-democratic’.

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