A raw material, also known as a feedstock, unprocessed material, or primary commodity, is a basic material that is used to produce goods, finished products, energy, or intermediate materials which are feedstock for future finished products. As feedstock, the term connotes these materials are bottleneck assets and are highly important with regard to producing other products. An example of this is crude oil, which is a raw material and a feedstock used in the production of industrial chemicals, fuels, plastics, and pharmaceutical goods; lumber is a raw material used to produce a variety of products including all types of furniture.
Many raw metallic materials used in industrial purposes must first be processed into a usable state. Metallic ores are first processed through a combination of crushing, roasting, magnetic separation, flotation, and leaching to make them suitable for use in a foundry. Foundries then smelt the ore into usable metal that may be alloyed with other materials to improve certain properties. 
The term "raw material" denotes materials in minimally processed or unprocessed in states; e.g., raw latex, crude oil, cotton, coal, raw biomass, iron ore, air, logs, or water i.e. "...any product of agriculture, forestry, fishing and any other mineral that is in its natural form or which has undergone the transformation required to prepare it for internationally marketing in substantial volumes."
Places with plentiful raw materials and little economic development often show a phenomenon, known as "Dutch disease" or the "resource curse", that occurs when the economy of a country is mainly based upon its exports due to its method of governance. An example of this is the Democratic Republic of Congo as it is rich in raw materials; the Second Congo War focused on controlling these raw materials.
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