• June 20, 2024

Raw materials: What Are They?

Materials or substances used in the initial manufacture or creation of things are referred to as raw materials. Commodities that are purchased and sold on global commodity markets are known as raw materials. Since raw materials are factors of production, businesses trade raw materials on the factor market.

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Knowing About Raw Materials

Raw materials may be found in many different forms and are utilized in many different products. The inventory or input commodities required by a business to produce its goods are known as raw materials. One raw material for a car company would be the steel utilized in their production. Raw material inventories for manufacturing firms necessitate thorough budgeting and a unique framework for income statement and balance sheet accounting.

Natural resources and raw materials are frequently connected. Because of this, manufacturers may rely on Mother Nature to provide them with a sufficient supply of raw materials. Likewise, producers might not wish to finance the actual cost of obtaining the raw materials. Think about how a business that produces polymers or oil, for instance, frequently does not own the drilling equipment used to collect the raw materials from the ground.

Keeping Track of Raw Materials

Businesses engaged in manufacturing take extra measures to account for inventory of raw materials. Compared to only one for non-manufacturers, their balance statement has three different inventory classes. The assets included in the balance sheet’s current assets section are those that are most likely to be depleted in less than a year and include:

Inventory of raw materials


Finalized products

Every inventory item, including those made out of raw materials, needs to be valued at full cost. Its worth therefore include preparation, shipment, and storage. For the first purchases of raw material inventory, a credit to cash and a debit to inventory are the usual journal entries in an accrual accounting system. Current assets are increased by debiting inventory, while cash assets are decreased by the quantity of inventory when cash is credited.

A corporation moves items from its raw materials inventory to its work-in-process inventory when using them in production. A business adds the completed products to the finished goods inventory when it completes its work-in-process items, so making them available for sale.

Indirect as opposed to direct raw materials

Raw materials can occasionally be separated into two groups: direct and indirect. A raw material’s directness or indirectness will determine how it is expensed on the income statement and where it is shown on the balance sheet.

Indirect Source Materials

Materials used directly by businesses in the production of a completed good, like wood for a chair, are known as direct raw materials. Direct raw materials are expensed under cost of products sold on the income statement and are included in current assets.

In addition, manufacturing organizations need to go above and beyond non-manufacturing organizations to generate more thorough expenditure reports on expenses of products supplied. Usually, direct raw materials are seen as variable expenses since the quantity needed is contingent upon the volume being produced.

Direct Budget for Raw Materials

To make sure there are no shortages, a factory determines how much direct raw material it will require for a given length of time. An organization can minimize superfluous inventory stock, perhaps save ordering costs, and lessen the chance of material obsolescence by regularly monitoring the amount of direct raw materials purchased and consumed.

For a variety of causes, raw materials might deteriorate in storage or stop working when used in a product. In this instance, the business deems them outdated. In the event that this happens, the business credits the outdated inventory to lower assets and expenditures the inventory as a negative to write-offs.

Indirect Sources of Raw Materials

Rather than being included in the finished product, indirect raw materials are utilized extensively throughout the production process. Long-term assets will be shown for indirect raw commodities. They might be classified as property, plant, and equipment (PP&E) or as selling, general, and administrative (SG&A) assets under the long-term asset class.

Long-term assets can be expensed over time and matched with the revenue they contribute to by following a depreciation plan. Depreciation timeline for indirect raw materials is often shorter than that of other long-term assets, such as a building that is expensed over a number of years.

Raw Material Types

There are several methods to categorize raw materials, but one popular method is based on the method used to extract the item. Among these kinds are:

Taken from the earth by mining, raw materials include ores, stones, metals, minerals, lime, sand, soil, oil, and coal.

Trees and plants are the source of plant-based raw resources, which include fruits, nuts, flowers, vegetables, timber, cotton, latex, and resins.

Raw resources derived from animals, including milk, meat, furs, leather, and wool, are harvested.

Since obtaining raw materials for each kind frequently requires significantly different investments, raw materials are frequently divided into these three groups. For instance, an oil drilling rig and a farm operate quite differently, so businesses that use both types of raw materials need to be careful about where to find them most cheaply.

A Sample of Raw Ingredients

Let us consider a corporation that produces chairs and tables. The materials used in manufacture are listed below:

Primary basic materials include wood, wood, cushions, padding, and fabric for chair covers.

Indirect raw materials: fixtures, fasteners, wood glue, and labor-related equipment

The wood, cushioning, and fabric are regarded as direct raw materials as they have a direct connection to the creation of the tables and chairs. The direct raw materials could be linked to every unit in order to determine the cost per unit.

Since the amounts utilized would not be considerable or directly related to each unit produced, the glue, nails, and worker equipment would probably be classified as indirect materials. Manufacturing overhead would probably be used to assign these kinds of expenses to a product.