The color-coded map above divides the nations of the world by chief exports. While we will summarize below, a full article on this map can be read by following this link: See Which Commodities Make the World Go Round. See also our map on Sixteen Rare Earth Metals and Minerals.
The colors of the map are summarized as:
- Oil and Petroleum Exports (Blue): This color dominates the map. While we are all familiar with the Mideast oil exports, nations in central and west Africa along with some of the South American oil-exporters, may surprise us. The author of the original article wonders how much trading power OPEC would have if it included all blue-colored nations.
- Minerals and Metals (Red and Orange): These nations offer the world rare or precious minerals and metals (Red) or large quantities of non-precious minerals and metals (Orange). Examples of the former include gold, platinum, and diamonds while the latter would include copper, uranium, phosphate, and iron ore.
- Foodstuffs (Light Blue): Major food exporters are found in the Horn of Africa (coffee, tea, livestock and grain), South and Latin America (soy beans, sugar, beef, coffee, and bananas), coastal nations that produce fish exports.
- Machinery/Transportation and Electronics (Grey and Green): Canada, Brazil, Japan, and much of Europe comprise the industrialized nations who manufacture a large portion of the world's machines and automobiles. The green-colored nations, like China and the U.S., produce the advanced electronics of our tech-driven twenty-first century.
- Textiles/Apparel and Wood (Yellow and Purple): Whether it's producing cotton (Togo, Benin, and Mali), or using that cotton to make clothing and shoes, the yellow-colored nations help clothe the world. Meanwhile, the rich forests of southeast Asia produce much of the world's wood products.