Commodities are raw materials essential for the production of more complex products. Commodities fall into three large categories: agricultural, energy, and metals.
According to this visualization, emerging economies (Brazil, Russia, India Indonesia, China, South Africa, etc.) have the largest reserves of certain key energy and metal commodities such as oil, coal, copper, cobalt, iron ore, molybdenum, nickel, zinc, and aluminum.
Mint.com tracked how much its users spend on gasoline in one month, and how many times they visit the pump in the same period across the United States.
On average, Americans spend $177 on gas in single month, making an average of 6 visits to the pump, and spending an average of $32 in each transaction.
San Jose (California) stands out as the city where Mint users spend the most on gas, an average of $216 in a single month. Other cities where Mint users spend a lot on gas include Birmingham (Alabama), Jacksonville (Florida), Phoenix (Arizona), and Charlotte (North Carolina) to name a few. In contrast, in cities like New York, Brooklyn (New York), and Washington D.C., which have a good public transportation system, the gas bill is between $102 and $112 per month.
Every day finished goods and commodities are transported by sea in shipping containers from one port to another across the globe. Standard shipping containers measure 20 feet long by eight feet wide, hence they receive the name of “Twenty-foot Equivalent Units” or TEUs.
The largest port in the world is in Shanghai (China) which saw a volume of 31.74 million TEUs of cargo freight passing through its port in 2011. Shanghai is followed by Singapore (Singapore) which saw a volume of 29.94 million TEUs passing through its port for the same year. Singapore is followed by Hong Kong, Shenzhen (China), Busan (South Korea), Ningbo, Guangzhou, and Qingdao (China), Dubai Ports (United Arab Emirates), and Rotterdam (Netherlands), all in the top ten.
Oil reserves are the amount of oil that can be technically and economically recovered from the ground.
Nations with the world’s largest oil reserves include Saudi Arabia, Venezuela, Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, United Arab Emirates, Russia, and Libya. Saudi Arabia, holds an approximate 234.5 billion barrels of oil reserves, and it has the largest market share for oil production after Russia. Saudi Arabia is followed by Venezuela, with an estimated 211.0 billion barrels of oil reserves, although its current oil production market share is only 3.2%.
By comparison, the United States has an estimated 30.9 billion barrels in oil reserves, and 8.7% market share in oil production.
According to Russian news agency Ria Novosti, Norway has the highest gasoline price among European countries, with a price of 1.90 Euro per liter ( or US $9.475 per gallon at the current exchange rate of 1 Euro = US $1.31). Norway is followed by Italy, Netherlands, Sweden, and Greece.
The lowest gasoline prices are found in Belarus and Kazakhstan, 0.68 Euros and 0.70 Euros per liter, respectively. The average gasoline price for European nations is 1.39 Euros per liter.
Fossil fuel subsidies are very common in developing nations. Subsidies cover the difference between the price at which fossil fuels are sold inside the country and their actual price in international markets, creating a huge fiscal burden (an estimated $400 billion annually) for the countries that provide them. Developing nations with fossil fuel subsidies include: Venezuela, Argentina, Ecuador, Algeria, Libya, Egypt, Kuwait, Iran, Pakistan, Russia, China, India, Indonesia, etc.
Developed nations also provide subsidies in the form of tax breaks to the oil industry and other measures (estimated at a cost of $45 to $75 billion per year). Nations in this group include many OECD (Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development) members.
Milk and milk products are consumed all over the world on a daily basis. As shown in the graph above, the largest consumers of milk in the Americas are the U.S., Canada, Nicaragua, and Argentina. In Europe the largest consumers of milk are Sweden, Finland, Netherlands, Switzerland, Portugal, Greece, and Kazakhstan. In Africa, we have Sudan and South Sudan. Australia is also one of the largest consumers of milk.
The consumption of milk in this map is defined as Kg. of milk consumed per person per year.
This visualization by The Guardian, actually made out of real chocolate, depicts the world trade (exports and imports) of chocolate. Between 2010 and 2011, 4.24 million tons of cocoa beans were processed worldwide.
The top cocoa bean producers are: Ivory Coast, Ghana, Indonesia, Nigeria, Cameroon, Brazil, and Ecuador, among others. The top importers include: Netherlands, the United States, Germany, Malaysia, Belgium, France, the UK, and Spain.
Coffee production and consumption is believed to have originated in Africa, more specifically in the province of Kaffa, Ethiopia. In the fifteen century it was already present in the Middle East. From there it spread to Italy and then to the rest of Europe. From Europe it traveled to the New World, where it was first cultivated in the Caribbean island of Martinique. During the first quarter of the eighteen century it was brought to Colombia and Brazil.
Coffee is an important cash crop in many developing countries. It is also an important commodity traded in major commodity exchanges around the world. The largest coffee producers include: Burundi, Ethiopia, Rwanda, Honduras, Uganda, and Nicaragua among others.
According to ChartsBin, coffee consumption around the world is estimated at 1.3 Kilograms per person per year (a total of 7,358,897 metric tons). In the map above, we can see that the countries with the largest coffee consumption per capita include: Finland (12 Kg. per person per year), Norway, Iceland, Denmark, Netherlands, Switzerland, followed by Canada, Germany, Brazil and other western European nations.
According to a World Gold Council report, world official gold reserves are estimated to be 31,575 tonnes as of January 2013. The United States ranks number one in official gold holdings with 8,133 tonnes. It is followed by Germany, the IMF (International Monetary Fund), Italy, France, China, Switzerland, Russia, Japan and the Netherlands. All other countries combined hold 7,325.5 tonnes in gold reserves. The countries in that group include India, Taiwan, Portugal, Venezuela, Saudi Arabia and Turkey. The Euro area holds 10,783 tonnes in gold reserves.
Resource Investor reports that central banks increased their official gold holdings to 500 tonnes in 2012 from 465 tonnes in 2011.