Success by the Numbers: Statistics for Business Development


BRASS Program at the ALA Annual Conference
June 28, 2004
Orlando, Florida

Program Handout, part 6

Trade Statistics

Prepared by
Kaiping Zhang
University of Oregon

U.S. Imports and Exports | International Trade


Economic Report of the President: Transmitted to the Congress. United States Government Printing Office. Available at
The Economic Report of the President reviews the nation's economic progress using text and comprehensive data appendices. Statistics in the "International Statistics" section covers U.S. international transactions, trade in goods by principal end-use category, goods by area, goods on balance of payment, and more. Original sources are cited, and many of the statistics date back 40 years or more. Available at is the portal to exporting and trade services offered by the U.S. government. The Market Research section includes information on trade statistics. Users can find information on imports and exports by country and commodity and find out how large the potential market is. In addition, this site links to other useful resources for trade statistical resources.

FASonline. Available at
The Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) offers several different databases for international agricultural trade. These databases are maintained by the FAS and other U.S. government agencies. To find trade statistics on agricultural products, use "Trade Data" (, which includes statistics on imports and exports, state exports, agricultural exports by state, top 10 exporting states by commodity, total value of U.S. agricultural trade, world markets and trade short reports, export sales reports, etc.

Foreign Trade Statistics. Available at
This is the web site of the Foreign Trade Division of the U.S. Census Bureau (, which compiles information on the U.S. trade balance, import and export totals, general commodity groupings, and country totals. To search for trade statistics, click "Statistics" at top of screen. In addition to statistical information, this site allows users to browse, search, and download the Schedule B Export Codes. Use "select a topic and click GO" drop manual and select "Schedule B Search Engine" and click the "GO" button.

GLOBUS/NTDB. Available at
GLOBUS/NTDB is accessed through STAT-USA (, a service of the Department of Commerce, Economics and Statistics Administration.
GLOBUS (Global Business Opportunities) offers daily trade leads from the Trade Opportunities Program (TOPS) and the Department of Agriculture as well as daily procurement activity from the Defense Logistics Agency, the United Nations, and the Commerce Business Daily leads. NTDB (National Trade Database) provides current and historical trade-related releases, international market research, trade opportunities, country analysis, and other information concerning international trade. Updated daily with market research reports and trade, this site is free if accessed at a Federal Depository Library Program or by subscription for non-depository users.

International Economic Accounts. Available at
This is the web site of the Bureau of Economic Analysis, an agency of the U.S. Department of Commerce. The "International Economic Accounts" includes the balance of payment (international transactions accounts); trade in goods and services (the monthly estimate of trade in goods and services); the international investment positions accounts (the annual estimates of the value of accumulated stocks of U.S.-owned assets abroad and of foreign-owned assets in the United States), as well as estimates of U.S. direct investment abroad and foreign direct investment in the United States.

Metropolitan Area Export Statistics. Washington, DC: Department of Commerce, International Trade Administration. Available at
This is an export performance report on over 250 U.S. cities from the International Trade Administration. It contains data in the categories such as: metro area export highlights, metropolitan export totals to selected destinations, metropolitan export sales to world by industry sector, etc. This report ceased publication following 1999 edition.

Office of Trade and Economic Analysis (OTEA). Available at
The Office of Trade and Economic Analysis of the U.S. Department of Commerce provides aggregate data on U.S. foreign trade in goods and services and a breakdown of the U.S. commodity trade with 80 largest countries and trading partners. OTEA's website also lists statistics on U.S. exports and imports, exports by state, metropolitan area and industry.

PIERS (Port Import Export Reporting Service). Commonwealth Business Media. [subscription database].
The PIERS is a subscription-based service produced by the Commonwealth Business Media (formerly by the Journal of Commerce). This service compiles import and export statistics daily from more than 25,000 bills of lading and vessel manifests. It offers timely, accurate, comprehensive statistics on global cargo movements to/from the United States, Mexican, Latin American and Asian ports.

Trade Dataweb. Available at
Maintained by the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC), this site contains U.S. import and export data. Users can customized their own search by selecting trade partners, classification, year range, import and export. This site provides industry-specific information and monitors trends and developments impacting these industries, both domestically and overseas. Industries include aerospace, automotive, chemicals, consumer goods, e-commerce, energy, environmental technologies, forest products, information and telecommunications technologies, instrumentation, machinery, metals, microelectronics, medical equipment, services and finance, textiles and apparel, and tourism. The site is free, but requires registration.

TradeStats Express. Available at
This is an interactive online service that permits users to customize their searches by setting parameters as desired (products, year, value, time span for data, display color options, etc.) and retrieve detailed data tables, charts, diagrams and maps that are printable and downloadable. Statistics include U.S. exports by product to selected countries, exports by U.S. state or region to selected market, and global distribution of U.S. or state exports.

USA Trade Online. [subscription database]. Available at
This is an extensive dataset of export and import statistics created by STAT-USA and the Foreign Trade Division of the U.S. Census Bureau. USA Trade Online allows users to find specific U.S. export and import information on more than 18,000 commodities worldwide. The site also allows the users to build dynamic tables for the most recent years based on 2-, 4-, 6- and 10-digit HS codes, over 200 trading partners, and Customs districts.

U.S. Department of Commerce. Bureau of Economic Analysis. Survey of Current Business. Available at
The Survey of Current Business is a monthly publication by the Bureau of Economic Analysis of the U.S. Department of Commerce. Each monthly issue contains important feature articles and statistics on U.S. international transactions in goods and services, international position of the U.S., U.S. direct investment abroad, and financial and operating data of nonbank U.S. affiliates of foreign countries.

U.S. International Trade Statistics. Available at
U.S. International Trade Statistics is one of the seven databases included in CenStats ( This database provides detailed import and exports statistics by commodities and countries and is updated annually. Users can select from 1-3 digit coding levels to retrieve data on the value of exports, general imports, and imports for consumption by the SITC commodity groupings. Users may also select a country to display the value of exports, general imports, and imports by 1-digit commodity groups.

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Eurostat. Available at
Eurostat is a searchable collection of statistics from the European Union. Free statistical data are available but for most data, users are referred to Data Shop Services that provide EUROSTAT data for a fee. "External Trade" is a good place to look for statistics for all goods exchanged by the EU Member States with some 250 trading partner countries and between EU Member States. Access to this site is free but requires registration.

FAOSTAT. [subscription database]. Available at
FAOSTAT is a statistical, multilingual (English, French, Spanish, Arabic, Chinese) database produced by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. Currently it contains over 1 million time-series records and covers international statistics in areas of production, food balance sheets, fertilizers and pesticides, fishery products and fish production, population, forestry trade flow, trade, food aid shipment, land use and irrigation, forestry products, agricultural machinery, and codex alimentarius. This database has on-line and CD-ROM formats and requires paid subscription.

Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. FAO Yearbook. Annual.
The FAO yearbook contains annual data on production and trade and provides trade movements of agricultural commodities for all countries and territories of the world.

The Federation of International Trade Associations. Available at
Compiled by the Federation of International Trade Associations (FITA), this site indexes and annotates more than 7,000 links related to international trade / import-export web sites. This is a comprehensive searchable database that users can search by keyword, or browse by subject listing.

globalEDGE. Available at
Produced by Michigan State University’s - Center for International Business Education and Research, the globalEDGE provides links to a variety of trade-related web sites including the U.S. government-produced materials, academic, and commercial sites. It includes four major sections: Country Insights, Global Resources, Market Potential Indicators, and Glossary.

International Monetary Fund. Direction of Trade Statistics. Quarterly & Annual.
The Direction Trade Statistics (DOTS), published by the International Monetary Fund (IMF), contains tables for approximately 156 countries, with current data or estimates on the value of imports from and exports to between countries and all their important trading partners. The IMF also publishes the Direction of Trade Statistics Yearbook, which provides detailed trade data by country for about 181 countries, the world, and the major areas for the most recent seven years.

International Trade Centre. Available at
The International Trade Center (ITC) is the technical cooperation agency of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development and the World Trade Organization ( The ITC’s web site provides access to trade information, lists of trade contacts, associations, and statistics.

SourceOECD. Available at
SourceOECD is the online library of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development. It comprises 20 thematic collections of all OECD monographs and reports, 24 periodicals, a reference title, and the OECD statistical databases. SourceOECD is a subscription based online service, although users can freely search within SourceOECD and retrieve information about OECD’s publications and view some free articles and statistics presented on various service pages. Updated weekly, this resource covers economics and social issues such as macroeconomics, trade, education, development, and science and innovation of all OECD member countries.

Trade Data Online. Available at Trade Data Online provides free access to international trade statistics for Canada and the U.S. for over 5,000 products, by HS codes, in more than 500 industries for more than 200 countries. Information available includes total imports / exports, trade balance, manufacturing shipments, export intensity and apparent domestic markets. Data are obtained from Statistics Canada and the U.S Census Bureau.

United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCDA). Handbook of International Trade and Development Statistics. New York: United Nations.
This handbook includes balance of payments, foreign direct investment, debt and its ratio to gross national product, debt service and its ratio to exports, and more. Data are drawn largely from existing international and national data sources.

United Nations. Department of Economic and Social Affairs. International Trade Statistics Yearbook. 2 vols.
This is a two-volume set arranged by commodity and country providing basic information on import and export statistics for 179 countries or reporting customs areas. Volume I, Trade by Country, contains detailed data for individual countries or areas. For each country, or area, trade statistics are reported in terms of the values of imports or exports by principal trading partners, or by commodity categories. The commodities are displayed by the 5-digit SITC for each country with historical summary tables. Volume 2, Trade by Commodity, includes commodity categories showing the total trade of certain commodities analyzed by regions and countries.

United Nations. UN Comtrade (UN Commodity Trade Statistics Database). Available at
Administered by the United Nations Statistics Division, the UN Comtrade provides extended statistics on international trade, national accounts, energy, industry, environment, transport and demographic, and social statistics gathered from various national and international sources.

U.S. Department of Commerce. U.S. Census Bureau. Statistical Abstract of the United States. Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office. Annual. Available at
The Statistical Abstract of the United States, published since 1878, is the standard summary of social, political, and economic statistics for the United States. Foreign trade statistics include data on U.S. exports, general imports, and trade balance in goods, U.S. exports and imports for consumption of merchandise by customs district, U.S. exports by state of origin, U.S. agriculture exports by state, U.S. exports, imports, and merchandise trade balance by country, U.S. exports and general imports by selected SITC commodity groups, etc. Foreign trade data can also be found in tables for individual commodities. Most tables present data for the past five years.

World Bank. World Development Indicators (WDI) 2003.
The World Development Indicators published by the World Bank is the premier annual compilation of data about development. The WDI print edition presents the most recent data on approximate 800 indicators for 152 economies and 14 country groups in more than 87 tables. The complete time-series data from 1960 onwards are available in the CD-ROM and online versions of World Development Indicators.

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BRASS Program at the ALA Annual Conference, June 28, 2004, Orlando, Florida
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