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Commodities That Affect USA’s Economy

It might seem like money is the ruler of the world, and in some sense it truly is the most powerful commodity on the planet, but in reality those currencies are nothing more than mere value placeholders as value is transferred from person to person or entity to entity. Value is really exchanged through true physical commodities, like precious metals, foodstuffs, and processed products. As those items exchange hands on their way from collection to distribution to end-use, trails of value are left in their wake, and those transactions are the backbone of any economy. In this way, commodities can directly affect the economy of just about any country in the world, especially more powerful countries that inevitably deal with a large number of commodities. The United States of America isn’t immune to this truth, and there are a number of premium commodities that have a huge impact on the strength of the United States’ economy.


It’s impossible to deny the impact that oil has on the American economy. The demand for the substance hasn’t faltered since it became the driving force behind many areas of global industrialization, like gasoline for transportation, fertilizers for agriculture, and plastics for the manufacturing industries. So many areas of the American economy require oil that even slight changes in the price of raw crude can send ripples through the otherwise stable system, especially the volatile transportation industry that requires a constant influx of fuel.


The United States consumes an incredible amount of meat, primarily in the form of beef. Americans ate roughly 71.2 pounds of beef per person during 2012, and while that number seems to be decreasing slightly, it is still far more than most other countries consume. The United States produces beef for both domestic and foreign customers, and many countries like Canada, Mexico, and Japan create a huge demand for American beef, driving the economy for thousands of farmers across the midwest.


While tobacco isn’t as valuable to America as it once was in the past, the crop is still a major contributing factor to the vitality of the economy. Cigarettes might be decreasing in popularity in response to new electronic cigarettes and vape pens flooding the market, but the nicotine found in those products still has to be cultivated and extracted from tobacco plants. Since the vape industry is expected to be valued at over $50 billion by 2025, it’s easy to see how tobacco is going to continue to be an important aspect of America’s economy long after standard cigarettes have gone extinct. Many cigarette smokers have already moved on with either a vape pen starter kit or something similar in order to make the transition as smooth as possible.


Unlike other grain products, corn is used in so many different industries that it might be the most valuable food crop grown in the country. The crop is used for producing feed for cattle, natural food for human consumption, corn syrups and other processed food derivatives, and even fuels like ethanol. Corn is so vital to the economy of the United States that the sudden loss of the crop would force the economy to come to a screeching halt. The United States is responsible for roughly 40 percent of the entire world’s corn trade, and such a high market share translates to a huge affect on the overall US economy.

In truth, every commodity traded or used within the United States is going to have some sort of effect on the economy, but the commodities listed here represent the largest areas of economic control and strength for the United States. Without these sources of value creation, the United States would not be in the position that is enjoys within the world stage. As long as the world’s economy keeps turning, the United States will stay afloat on these staples.

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