Hack day presentation may 2013

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Using trade data to examine the new political economy of resources
by Jaakko Kooroshy and Felix Preston
Energy, Environment and Resources - Chatham House.


Analysing and making data on global resource trade available has been a major part of the Chatham House Resources Futures project

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  • Most analysis of resource trade is focused on production and total imports/exports. – to explain
  • Hack day presentation may 2013

    1. 1. Using trade data to examine the new politicaleconomy of resourcesJaakko Kooroshy and Felix PrestonEnergy, Environment and Resources5 May 2013‘Follow the Data’ hack day, New Zealand House, London
    2. 2. Analysing and making data on global resource trade available hasbeen a major part of the Chatham House Resources Futures project• Published in December 2012, ResourcesFutures is the result of two years ofresearch.• Underpinned by a resource trade databasecovering 1200 different types of naturalresources and resource products and 200countries and territories, from 1998 and2010.• It analyses the latest global trends in theproduction, trade and consumption of keyraw materials and intermediate products –from crops, fuels, fisheries, forest products,metals to fertilizers.• It also explores how moves by governmentsand other stakeholders are creating newfault lines on top of existing weaknessesand environmental uncertainties, andproposes a series of critical interventions.
    3. 3. Our starting point on Resources Futures• Prospect of resource scarcity, both real and perceived, is a majoritem on the global policy agenda.• Misperceptions and poor policy could fuel geopolitical tensions,undermine global economic and environmental cooperation, foster localand regional insecurity and disproportionately affect the livelihoods ofthe world’s poorest.• Managing these growing global resource stresses together with asuccessful transition to sustainable and equitable resource use will testthe resilience of global and regional regimes and governancemechanisms.• The ongoing reconfiguration of the international political economyof resources trade and use remain poorly understood. The complexpolicy implications of these momentous shifts need to be systematicallyevaluated and translated into concrete policy recommendations forgovernments and businesses.
    4. 4. • Extractive industries are still a ‘black box’ in many respects dueto patchy data on trade, investment, productioncosts, environmental impacts, supply chains, financial flows etc.• Where data exists it is often only accessible to a small numberof commercial actors and experts: Requires significant financialresources, specialized software, and expert knowledge to navigatecomplex data sets.• There are significant problems with data quality e.g. due to non-transparent methodologies and inconsistency.• Lack of intuitive, flexible tools for exploring and analysing thepublically available data. You have to be an expert, and even then itis labour-intensive.These challenges apply whether the focus is on transparency; conflict;environmental impacts; etc.Unfortunately, the limited empirical base for resources hampers anyanalysis of extractive industries
    5. 5. Bilateral resource flows are key to understanding resourceinterdependencies between countries. But the available data is notset up for this purpose.• The data has been publically available for 50 years. Since 1962 bilateraltrade data has been part of UN International Merchandise TradeStatistics, which are publically accessible through the COMTRADEdatabase.• But using it for comprehensive trend analysis is very challenging!o There are entries by importers and exporters – which often do notmatcho Product codes are not organised according to commodities – andthere are >5000 of them.• And data quality is highly inconsistent (they are reported by individualcustoms offices)• The database is also quite large (>5 million data points per year), whichuntil recently made it difficult to handle / build upon.• The full dataset has restrictions on use
    6. 6. Faced with this, we decided to construct a new database1. Addressed double reporting problem (use French BACI database instead of rawCOMTRADE data).2. Reorganised ‘Harmonized System’ from a commodity perspective (selecting tradecodes relevant to raw materials and intermediate products, grouping according tocommodities and steps along the value chain)3. Assessed data reliability and identifying outliers (we developed a ‘distance’measure that compares individual value-weight ratios to global weight-value ratios)4. Dealt with outliers (mix of manually adjusting, re-estimating and excluding outliers)
    7. 7. The Chatham House Resource Trade Database – how we use it• Database is housed in Jmp (considering migration to mySQL)• Jmp outputs can be easily manipulated in excel to give cutsover time; by region and country; by commodity (at differentlevels of detail) etc.• Outputs from excel also analysed in arcgis and esankey forspatial analysis/presentation.t EX IM Sum(Value (USD1000))Sum(Weight (1000KG))Type of steel/iron Import CountryImporting RegionImporting Region 2Importer StatusExport CountryExporting RegionExporting Region 2Exporter StatusIntraregio1998 4 218 82.3117 1082.385 Intermediate, iron or non alloy steelEcuador South AmericaSouth AmericaSouth AfghanistanSouth AsiaSouth AsiaSouth 01998 8 300 16.86366 120.593 Intermediate, iron or non alloy steelGreece Europe Europe North Albania Europe Europe South 11998 8 381 2.907 1.812 Intermediate, iron or non alloy steelItaly Europe Europe North Albania Europe Europe South 11998 8 699 26.8738 25.289 Intermediate, iron or non alloy steelIndia South AsiaSouth AsiaSouth Albania Europe Europe South 01998 12 58 569.875 596.565 Intermediate, iron or non alloy steelBelgium (incl. Luxembourg)Europe Europe North Algeria MENA MENA South 01998 12 251 246.774 91.5 Intermediate, iron or non alloy steelFrance Europe Europe North Algeria MENA MENA South 01998 12 381 15771.43 48267.67 Intermediate, iron or non alloy steelItaly Europe Europe North Algeria MENA MENA South 01998 12 392 18.6438 39.636 Intermediate, iron or non alloy steelJapan East Asia ex ChinaEast Asia North Algeria MENA MENA South 01998 12 504 4269.904 12110 Intermediate, iron or non alloy steelMorocco MENA MENA South Algeria MENA MENA South 11998 12 528 6396.43 19570.15 Intermediate, iron or non alloy steelNetherlandsEurope Europe North Algeria MENA MENA South 01998 12 686 124.674 197.82 Intermediate, iron or non alloy steelSenegal Subsaharan AfricaSubsaharan AfricaSouth Algeria MENA MENA South 01998 12 724 937.408 7359.84 Intermediate, iron or non alloy steelSpain Europe Europe North Algeria MENA MENA South 01998 12 788 7558.282 31809.75 Intermediate, iron or non alloy steelTunisia MENA MENA South Algeria MENA MENA South 11998 12 792 559.88 2638.88 Intermediate, iron or non alloy steelTurkey Europe Europe South Algeria MENA MENA South 0
    8. 8. Metal exporters are increasingly dependenton China. 45% of metals traded goes to ChinaSouth-South trade in resources overtook South-North trade in 2010Global resource trade expanded 5-fold between2000 and 2010Imports and exports by regionExamples of insights from the database, with simple visualisations
    9. 9. No surprise that visualizations are key to conveying insights from complex data –this is borne out by responses on social media
    10. 10. A major challenge is how to communicate complex resource narratives – weworked with a design agency to built an innovative interactive that takes youthrough the story of the report – with details.Top Coal trade flows to/from China20002010www.resourcesfutures.org andhttp://chinafocus.resourcesfutures.org (for the new China content)
    11. 11. Collaboration, collaboration, collaboration• Collaborations so farwith the FinancialTimes, The Times andWWF• Exploring otheravenues forcollaboration andinteraction withstakeholders.• For example, we arein discussions to usethe database andother content toconstruct educationaltools at high schooland MBA levels.
    12. 12. What’s next?!• Improving the interface e.g. enabling more complexqueries on the data without intermediate steps.• Connecting with other data and platforms – dynamicallylinking the database with other data e.g. on resourceproduction and consumption; macro-economic; spatial.• Making the database publicly accessible - depending oncopyright issues and resources, we would like to take itonline.• Participating in discussions on improving data qualityand access etc.This adds up to a significant challenge!

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