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ISLAMABAD: The number of countries that depend on commodities has reached its highest level in 20 years, says a new report published by the UN Conference on Trade and Development (Unctad).

A country is defined as dependent on commodities when these account for more than 60 per cent of its total merchandise exports in value terms.

The ‘State of Commodity Dependence Report 2019’ shows commodity-dependent countries increased from 92 between 1998 and 2002 to 102 between 2013 and 2017.

More than half of the world’s countries (102 out of 189) and two thirds of developing countries are dependent on commodities, the report indicates.

Commodity dependence affects developing countries almost exclusively, according to the report. It affects 85 per cent of least developed countries, 81 per cent of landlocked developing countries and 57 per cent of small island developing states.

With 89 per cent of countries in Sub-Saharan Africa being commodity-dependent, it is the hardest-hit region. It is followed by the Middle East and North Africa, where 65pc of countries depend on commodities.

Published in Dawn, May 19th, 2019