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UN Comtrade Introduction: Getting Started

UN Comtrade

UN Comtrade, or the United Nations Commodity Trade Statistics Database, allows you to access data for over 140 reporter countries detailed by commodity and partner country.

It is created from data reported by member countries to the United Nations Statistical Division.

UN Comtrade is the largest depository of international trade data, containing over 1.1 billion records.  Time series of data for reported countries starts as far back as 1962 and goes up to the most recent completed year.

Data Organization

All commodity values are converted from national currency into US dollars using exchange rates supplied by the reporter countries, or derived from monthly market rated and volume of trade.

Quantities are converted into metric units when possible.

Classification: Commodities are reported in the current classification and revision (HS 2002 in most cases) and are converted all the way down to the earliest classification SITC revision 1.  Therefore, if data is received in HS 2002 version, it is converted to HS 1996, HS 1988, SITC rev. 3, SITC rev. 2, SITC rev.1, and BEC. You are strongly urged to determine a code number for your commodity before beginning to collect the data.


Besides this web page, you can look at the following help guides via UN Comtrade. 

Subject Guide

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Mark Thomas
233C Perkins Library