The material resources that enter an economy (domestic extraction and physical imports) may be directly used within the economy (domestic material consumption) or exported and used abroad. Correspondingly, DMC can be decomposed into domestic extraction and the physical trade balance (imports minus exports). Physical imports and exports indicate the international role of economies in terms of resource extraction.
Figure 2 shows the development between 2000 and 2019 in the extraction of materials within the EU economy (domestic extraction), as well as physical imports and exports and the resulting physical trade balance. Notably, imports and exports are measured in the weight of products crossing the border, regardless of how much the traded goods have been processed.