Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Top Copper Producing Countries

The following provides an overview of the top 10 copper producing countries, both on an absolute basis and on a per capita basis. The data source for the copper mining production data is the British Geological Survey. The data source for the population data is the GGDC/Maddison data set, the 2010 value was obtained extrapolating the 2008/2009 growth rate to 2010. Copper price was determined at USD 7'000 per ton.

Chile followed by Peru, China, United States and Indonesia are the leading copper production countries, no real surprises in the top 10 list.

On a per capita basis, Chile remains the undisputed top producer, the other countries making the top 5 are Zambia, Peru, Mongolia and Australia.

Once Ivanhoe's Oyu Tolgoi mine becomes operational, Mongolia's per capita copper production may become of the same magnitude (altough probably still somewhat lower) as Chile. More information about Oyu Tolgoi from Ivanhoe, the project site and Wikipedia.

Calculation details are here.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

GDP per Capita Time Series for Spanish Speaking Countries

Data from GGDC/Maddison, values in 1990 Geary-Khamis dollars.

Comparison of Argentina, Chile, Venezuela and Spain for the 1820 to 2008 period in absolute terms:

  • Argentina was the wealthiest of the four countries from 1820 to 1940 (although Chile and Spain equalized Argentina around 1870) to be surpassed by Venezuela in the early 1950's
  • Chile suffered an almost 40% drop in GDP per capita as a result of the great depression or more specifically low copper prices as a result of it
  • Venezuela didn't have any real per capita growth for the last 60 years (!)
  • Spain overtook its former colonies of Chile, Argentina and Venezuela in 1965, 1975 and 1983 respectively, the current crisis in Spain is not yet reflected in the data but the difference seems to be too big to be bridged even by Chile in the near term
The same information depicted as a percentage of average world GDP per capita. Venezuela and Argentina relative decay in GDP per capita since the 1950's are very visible. Chile is back to its historic levels of around 175% of the world average, but after a impressive recovery from 1985 to 1997 has stagnated on a relative basis since then.

Finally the rank in terms of GDP per capita among the Spanish speaking countries / territories. The country which was top ranked in the 19th century was Uruguay. Currently the bottom country is Nicaragua.

Data is here.