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International Trade Statistics
Use the above tabs to locate trade statistics for U.S. and other countries. However, before getting started, consider the following points:
Commodity Code: Most countries collect data on their imports and exports. This data is also compiled at national levels by international organizations such as the United Nations, and the OECD. To help researchers identify all available data for a commodity and to facilitate international comparisons, trade sources use classification codes to group commodities.
Classification Codes: Most countries now use the following classification codes to group similar commodities and products:
How the Codes Work: SITC and HS coding systems use a numerical hierarchy to group products under various categories. In either code, the level of product detail is indicated by digit level within the classification hierarchy. So while one or two digit numbers represent greatly aggregated data for broad categories of commodities, five to ten digit numbers represent fairly specific commodities. Below is a sample of classification numbers from HS :
Time Series: It takes some time before a new product gets assigned its own numerical code and shows up in trade data, and so for a while it will be lumped in with similar products. This is especially true for modern electronic products especially if the product is built of subcomponents, each of which may be coded separately.