Déchets, Sciences & Techniques

N°35


Le commerce extérieur et intra-Union Européenne de matériaux et produits de récupération


Statistiques et essai d'analyse structurelle
Gérard Bertolini

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Résumé

À partir de la base de données Eurostat, l'article s'attache d'abord à retracer, pour l'année 2001, l'essentiel des courants d'échanges, intra-UE et avec le reste du monde, y compris par pays (pour les principaux pays concernés), en tonnage et en valeur, par catégories de matériaux et produits de récupération, à les présenter de façon synoptique et à fournir un premier commentaire des résultats, en 2001. De plus, les changements de 1995 à 2001 sont repérés. La seconde partie vise à approfondir l'analyse et à tenter d'expliquer ces échanges : les principales théories du commerce international s'appliquent-elles bien aux matériaux et produits de récupération ? Dans quelle mesure l'UE apparaît-elle, à travers ces échanges, comme une entité économique ? S'y ajoutent des questionnements sur les conséquences de certains échanges et quelques vues prospectives

Abstract

On the basis of statistics from Eurostat, the paper is relating at first for the year 2001 the main exchanges (flows) intra-EU and with the rest of the world (extra-EU), including by countries (for the main countries which are concerned), tonnage and value, by categories of recovered materials and products; a synoptic table is established, the results are summarized and first comments are provided. Moreover the evolution from 1995 to 2001 is related.
The available data (even if their reliability is questionable) allow to bring to the fore structural characteristics and some changes:
– the part of the metals is paramount (nearly 80%): ferrous in tonnage and value and non-ferrous in value; wastepaper is another important material in the exchanges;
– the trade balance with the rest of the world which was in deficit in 1995 has become in excess: it remains in deficit for the metals but has become in excess or the excess increases for most of the other materials and products, due to increasing exports;
– concerning the metals, EU imports mainly from other European (extra-EU) countries, while it exports (mainly non-ferrous) to Asia, notably China;
– Asia (in particular China) is the major destination for the exports of wastepaper and plastics too;
– the textiles show a contrasted picture: exports of old clothes but imports of wiping rags (by-products from sorting old clothes);
– EU exports used and retreaded tyres;
– EU exports mainly to less developed countries; the exchanges with North America and Japan (mainly imports)are weak.
The objectives of the second part of the paper are to go deeper into the analyses and to try to explain the exchanges: do they confirm the main theories of international trade? To what extent is EU appearing as an economic entity? Moreover the effects of some of these exchanges are questioned and some prospective views are provided.
The essay to explain the causes of the exchanges has permitted to point out the possible influence of some factors: the scarcity of some natural resources (notably deposits of ores), the labour cost, the level of wealth, the economic growth of the country (notably for the exports to Asia).
From 1995 to 2001, the extra-EU exchanges (particularly the exports) have increased more strongly than the intra-EU exchanges. However the intra-EU exchanges remain clearly higher than the extra-EU exchanges, may be not only for geographical reasons (in particular transportation cost) but also for other economic reasons: multilateral or crossed exchanges between EU countries are concerning a same (category of) material; but possible differences of “quality” would have to be introduced.
Exports of “secondary materials” may have some negative effects on the economy of the exporting country: “loss of earnings”, and possible perverse effects, i.e. “backlash” or “boomerang” effect.
Some influent factors have been brought out but – quite obviously - the whole economic map of the world exchanges cannot be explained. At last the planned enlargement of EU to Eastern European countries may involve - owing to a complementarity - a gain in economic autonomy or self - reliance.

Pour citer ce document

Référence papier : Gérard Bertolini « Le commerce extérieur et intra-Union Européenne de matériaux et produits de récupération », Dechets sciences et techniques, N°35, 2004, p. 3-17.

Référence électronique : Gérard Bertolini « Le commerce extérieur et intra-Union Européenne de matériaux et produits de récupération », Dechets sciences et techniques [En ligne], N°35, mis à jour le : 09/03/2015, URL : http://lodel.irevues.inist.fr/dechets-sciences-techniques/index.php?id=2115, https://doi.org/10.4267/dechets-sciences-techniques.2115

Auteur(s)

Gérard Bertolini

LASS, Université Claude Bernard - Lyon 1 - Bâtiment 101, 27 boulevard du 11 novembre 1918 - 69622 - Villeurbanne Cedex