Material flows

Economy-wide Material Flow Accounts (EW-MFA) is a statistical accounting framework describing the physical interaction of the economy with the natural environment and with the rest of the world economy in terms of flows of materials.

The material flow account outlines the quantity of different materials taken from nature, imported from - and exported to - other countries. This then gives the quantity of different materials used in the faroese economy.

You can read more about the indicator under


  • Domestic extraction of material originating from the faroese environment. The largest quantities are fish from the sea and stones quarried in the faroes. The quantities of fodder crops and grazed biomass are estimated.
  • Physical imports (all goods) originating from other economies and physical exports (all goods) to other economies. All merchandice is categorized according to the material they (mostly) consist of. Cars are for instance categorized as “2.3 Other metal products”.
  • Direct Material Input are materials entering the faroese economy, either extracted or imported.
  • Domestic Material Consumption is the difference between direct material input and export. The largest quantities consumed are basalt and sand used in constuction.
  • Physical Trade Balance is import minus export.

The different kinds of materials are grouped into these main categories:

  • Biomass comprises organic non-fossil material of
    biological origin. (e.g. fish, grass, vegetables)
  • Metal ores. Metals can be extracted by mining or imported in goods as cars, machines etc.
  • Non-metallic minerals are materials as stones, sand and fertilizers.
  • Fossil fuels are products as oil, gas and coal.
  • Other products.
  • Waste.
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