United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD)

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UNCTAD is a permanent intergovernmental body established by the United Nations General Assembly in 1964. UNCTAD monitors international trade patterns, and aims to help developing economies access the benefits of the globalized economy more fairly and effectively. The statistics division of UNCTAD publishes data on various topics such as international trade, investment patterns in goods and services, economic trends, foreign direct investment, external finance resources, populations and labor force, commodities etc.[1]

Data source and availability

Data from UNCTAD and the related metadata is available here- http://unctadstat.unctad.org/EN/Index.html

This data is compiled in accordance with the UNCTAD statistics handbook that is published annually.[2] Data is published by UNCTAD annually. Commodity price data is released on a monthly basis. The trade matrix is updated twice a year, in May and September and trade indicator data is updated in June and October. The FDI data is updated every July. All data is presented in current US dollars.[3]

The export and import data published by UNCTAD are not symmetrical in all cases. This is because of the following reasons,

  • Time of recording: It takes time to transport the goods. If the goods were shipped in December and arrived in January, the exports will be recorded in last year and imports will be in current year.
  • Valuation: Imports are normally valued by adding insurance and freight to the value of the goods, but exports are not (only value of the goods). Therefore, normally, imports are always higher than exports
  • Coverage, inclusion / exclusion of certain goods: Countries have different treatment on the inclusion and exclusion of goods (even though there is an international recommendation for this).
  • Partner country attribution: The known exports destination at the time of exportation may not be where the goods go finally. The famous example is trade among Canada - USA - Mexico. The final destination of Mexican exports are sometimes unknown, so recording USA as destination, may be misleading, if the final destination is Canada (or vice-versa). However, Canada would record imports from Mexico as the country of origin.[4]

 

In certain cases the FDI data is negative. This is because data on FDI flows are presented on net basis (capital transactions' credits less debits between direct investors and their foreign affiliates). Net decreases in assets or net increases in liabilities are recorded as credits (positive), while net increases in assets or net decreases in liabilities are recorded as debits (negative). Hence, FDI flows with a negative sign indicate that at least one of the three components of FDI is negative and not offset by positive amounts of the remaining components. These are called reverse investment or disinvestment.[5]

Series available

Sr. no

Series

Notes[6]

1

Trade trends data

This series includes trade data for goods and service trade. Compiled in accordance with guidelines in BPM6[7]

2

Merchandise trade matrix

Bilateral trade data for goods by actor and trading partner

3

Service trade data

Exports and imports by service category, value, shares and growth

4

Goods and services trade balance indicators

Trade balance is defined as the difference between exports f.o.b. and imports f.o.b. expressed in millions of dollars. Normalized trade balance of goods and services is defined as the trade balance (total exports less total imports) divided by the total trade (exports plus imports). 

5

Most favored nation (MFN) and effectively applied import tariff rates on non-agricultural and non-fuel products, annual, 1988 - 2014
  

This series presents MFN (Most Favored Nation) and effectively applied import tariff rates for major categories of non-agricultural and non-fuel products by individual country (as market economy) and economic grouping (as origin), expressed in various aggregation measure

6

Gross domestic Product

Total and per capita

7

Balance of payments

This is only the current account component of the BoP.

8

Exchange rates

This series includes real and nominal exchange rates

9

Inflation rates

 This series includes the latest Consumer Price index

10

Foreign Direct Investments

This series includes both Inward and Outward FDI

11

Migrant's remittances

Personal remittances in millions of dollars

12

Population

Total and Urban population

13

Labor force

Labor force and agricultural labor force

14

Commodity Prices

Free market commodity prices annual The weights used in the construction of the indices represent the relative values of commodity exports from developing countries for the period 1999-2001.

15

Share of ICT goods as a % of total trade

This table contains the two Core Indicators on International trade defined by the Partnership on Measuring ICT for Development. The first of these Core Indicators is the share of ICT goods imports as a percentage of total imports, while the second Core Indicator is the share of ICT goods exports as a percentage of total exports, for every economy for which this information is available in the UN COMTRADE database. For information on the Partnership, please consult: http://www.itu.int/en/ITU-D/Statistics/Pages/intlcoop/partnership/default.aspx. For each economy and for both trade flows, the table provides the associated Core Indicator, as well as the value in absolute ($) term of the ICT trade flow

16

ICT producing sector core indicators, annual,

This table contains statistics on two core indicators of the ICT producing sector: the proportion (%) of total business sector workforce involved in the ICT sector, and value added in the ICT sector as a percentage of total business sector value added

17

Values and shares of creative goods in trade (export and import)

This table presents exports and imports of creative goods by individual country, geographical region and economic grouping, expressed in millions of dollars and broken down by individual trading partner or trading group. Furthermore, data are presented also as percentage of world (both as economy and trading partner), total products, and region. 

18

Concentration index of creative goods

This table provides information on concentration indices of exports and imports of creative goods. 

19

Values and shares of creative services in trade (export and import)

  

20

International trade in related services: Royalties and license fees)

In the context of trade in services related to creative economy, this table presents exports and imports of royalties and license fees (including their sub-components), for individual countries, expressed in millions of dollars and as percentages of a country's total services trade.

21

International trade in related services: Computer and information, annual, 

In the context of trade in services related to creative economy, this table presents exports and imports of computer and information services (including their sub-components), for individual countries, expressed in millions of dollars and as percentages of a country's total services trade. 

22

Merchant fleet by flag of registration and type of ship annual

This table shows statistics on the international maritime transport. It contains data on the size of the world merchant fleet by flag of registration and by type of ship. Data are presented in thousands of dead-weight tons (DWT). The table presents also, for each region or country 1) its share in the world fleet, and 2) the share of a ship-type in its fleet. From 2011 onwards, the figures on numbers of ships are also available, as well as the data in gross tonnage (GT). 

23

Ship scrapping

This table shows estimates of the merchant fleet demolished between 1 January and 31 December of a given year.

24

World seaborne trade

This table shows data on the world seaborne trade by types of cargo, by country groups and by regions. Data are presented in millions of tons.



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Series used in EconDash

Series used in IFs 

DataDict 720
Table Group Definition Source Last IFs Update UsedInPreprocessor Years
SeriesXFDIInwardFlows Economic Foreign direct investment, inward flows UNCTAD STAT website 2011/12 No
SeriesXFDIInwardStock Economic Foreign direct investment, inward stock UNCTAD STAT website 2011/12 No
SeriesXFDIOutwardFlows Economic Foreign direct investment, outward flows UNCTAD STAT website 2011/12 No
SeriesXFDIOutwardStock Economic Foreign direct investment, outward stock UNCTAD STAT website 2011/12 No


Instructions for Pulling Raw Data

  1. Go to http://unctadstat.unctad.org/
  2. Navigate to the data center page
  3. In the data center bring up the series you wish to collect.
  4. Click “Economy” and then check all the boxes using the top left check mark
  5. Click show table
  6. Download the csv version of the data; the excel version of this data is excel 3 Version locked and cannot be used

References 

  1. Refer to “About UNCTAD” <http://unctad.org/en/Pages/statistics.aspx>
  2. UNCTAD statistics handbook is available here://unctad.org/en/pages/PublicationWebflyer.aspx?publicationid=1414
  3. Refer to UNCTAD FAQ <http://unctadstat.unctad.org/EN/Documentation.html>
  4. Refer to UNCTAD statistics handbook, data descriptions
  5. Refer to UNCTAD statistics handbook, data definitions
  6. This column describes definitions and content of various datasets. These definitions are available at the UNCTAD data center metadata page.
  7. BPM6 here refers to the Balance of payments and International Investment Position manual 6th edition issued by the IMF.