Natural Resource & Products Use
Increases for second consecutive year
Use in Natural Resources & Products in the economy
The mass of natural resources and products used by the UK economy in 2004 rose by 11 million tonnes (1.6 per cent) to 693 million tonnes. The rise was driven by a greater deficit on the physical trade balance, which increased by 36 million tonnes to net imports of 89 million tonnes, as the mass of imports rose and the mass of exports fell. The rise in the deficit on the physical trade balance was partly offset by a 24 million tonne fall in the level of domestic extraction.
UK material consumption (domestic material consumption), amounted to 693 million tonnes in 2004 compared with 682 million tonnes in 2003 and 680 million tonnes in 2002. Recent rises in domestic material consumption are associated with the increasing mass of imports, which reached a record 273 million tonnes in 2004, an increase of 33 million tonnes (13.8 per cent) on the previous year. This is due to large increases in fossil fuel imports which, at 127 million tonnes, are at their highest level since 1974. In 2004, the mass of exports fell 1.6 per cent year on year due lower exports of fossil fuels. Total exports amounted to 184 million tonnes compared with 187 million tonnes in 2003, as exports of fossil fuels fell to 98 million tonnes compared with 103 million tonnes in 2003.
Domestic extraction declined as a result of lower levels of extraction of North Sea oil and gas, which both fell approximately 10 per cent compared with the previous year.
The material productivity of the UK economy continues to rise suggesting domestic material consumption and economic growth have decoupled since 1990.
Source: Office for National Statistics
Domestic material consumption = domestic extraction + imports – exports Physical trade balance = mass of exports - mass of imports
For more information about material flows, please follow the link to the notes in the Economic Trends article UK Material Flow Accounting, 1970 – 2000.
Environmental accounts provides data on the environmental impact of UK economic activity and the use of the environment by the economy.
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