Direct material consumption (DMC) within the Icelandic economy was reduced from 11,322 kilotonnes in 2018 to 10,900 kilotonnes in 2019, which corresponds to 32.5 tonnes per capita in 2018 and 30.5 tonnes per capita in 2019. DMC is defined as the mass of material that is extracted from nature into the economy, plus import, minus export. Its value in Iceland is comparable to what was measured in Finland (32.5 tonnes per capita in 2018) and in Estonia (30.4 tonnes per capita in 2018). The average value for DMC for the 28 main economies in the European Union is approximately 14 tonnes per capita.

The high material consumption per capita in Iceland comes primarily from greater use of non-metallic minerals in housing and road and infrastructure construction in Iceland than in other countries. High material use in Finland is primarily due to metal ore and other mining operations while Estonia extracts a considerable mass of fossil energy materials from its environment.

The mass difference between import and export in Iceland was 2,984 kilotonnes, approximately one quarter of the total DMC. The mass of imports was 11.3% less in 2019 (5.262 kilotonnes) than in 2018 (5,935 kilotonnes). Imports were reduced in all material categories, but the greatest reduction was in import of fossil energy materials (from 1,814 kilotonnes to 1,429 kilotonnes) and in materials other than metals (from 862 kilotonnes to 724 kilotonnes).

The total mass of exported materials was 8.9% less in 2019 (2,278 kilotonnes) than in 2018 (2,495 kilotonnes). The greatest reduction was in the export of metals (from 1,053 kilotons to 955 kilotons), while exports of materials other than metals increased by 28 kilotons between 2018 and 2019.

Data from the economy-wide material flow accounts have been updated. Further information about the content of these accounts can be found in the Eurostat metadata system