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Sources of Chinese Demand for Resource Commodities

  • Ivan Roberts

    (Reserve Bank of Australia)

  • Anthony Rush

    (Reserve Bank of Australia)

Is China’s demand for resources driven predominantly by domestic factors or by global demand for its exports? The answer to this question is important for many resource-exporting countries, such as Australia, Brazil, Canada and India. This paper provides evidence that China’s (mainly manufacturing) exports have been a significant driver of its demand for resource commodities over recent decades. First, it employs input-output tables to demonstrate that, historically, manufacturing has been at least as important as construction as a driver of China’s demand for resource-intensive metal products. Second, it shows that global trade in non-oil resource commodities can be described by the gravity model of trade. Using this model it is found that, controlling for domestic expenditure (including investment), exports are a sizeable and significant determinant of a country’s resource imports, and that this has been true for China as well as for other countries.

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Paper provided by Reserve Bank of Australia in its series RBA Research Discussion Papers with number rdp2010-08.

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Date of creation: Nov 2010
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Handle: RePEc:rba:rbardp:rdp2010-08
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  1. Im, Kyung So & Pesaran, M. Hashem & Shin, Yongcheol, 2003. "Testing for unit roots in heterogeneous panels," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 115(1), pages 53-74, July.
  2. Edmonds, Christopher & La Croix, Sumner & Li, Yao, 2008. "China trade: Busting gravity's bounds," Journal of Asian Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(5-6), pages 455-466.
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  9. La Croix, Sumner & Iboshi, Pearl Imada & Kea, Janis, 2008. "A tribute to Seiji Naya," Journal of Asian Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(5-6), pages 373-377.
  10. Levin, Andrew & Lin, Chien-Fu & James Chu, Chia-Shang, 2002. "Unit root tests in panel data: asymptotic and finite-sample properties," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 108(1), pages 1-24, May.
  11. Jane T. Haltmaier & Shaghil Ahmed & Brahima Coulibaly & Ross Knippenberg & Sylvain Leduc & Mario Marazzi & Beth Anne Wilson, 2007. "The role of China in Asia: engine, conduit, or steamroller?," International Finance Discussion Papers 904, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  12. Robert Koopman & Zhi Wang & Shang-Jin Wei, 2008. "How Much of Chinese Exports is Really Made In China? Assessing Domestic Value-Added When Processing Trade is Pervasive," NBER Working Papers 14109, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Barry Eichengreen & Yeongseop Rhee & Hui Tong, 2007. "China and the Exports of Other Asian Countries," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer, vol. 143(2), pages 201-226, July.
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