Understanding Trade Statistics

There are many issues that need to be considered when using international trade statistics. TradeData lists some of these below for your information.

Harmonised Classification System The Harmonised Classification System (HS) is a coding system for classifying internationally traded goods. Most countries around the world adhere to this standard customs classification system so the first step in international trade analysis is to select the correct classification code for your product. If you require help in selecting the correct HS codes for your product please contact TradeData:

  • Describing your product in detail;
  • Whether you are interested in exports or imports; and
  • Which country you are interested in?

TradeData will try to find the correct code and advice you accordingly. For further information please click here to email us.   Trade Statistics for Difficult Countries For some countries, in some instances, Trade Statistics are either just not available or not available in a timely or accurate/complete manner. This can occur in:

  • Countries where there are confidentiality restrictions on some statistics;
  • Small and/or developing countries; or
  • Some Middle East and African countries.

For some countries there are other sources of trade information but they are sometimes out of date and/or of low quality. TradeData has developed methodologies to deduce the trade in an out of these difficult countries using all trade information sources available – usually by measuring trade from the other end of the trade transactions. With much experience and analysis it is usually possible to monitor trade in or out of difficult countries and obtain reliable information. For further information please click here to email us Trade Statistics with Company names and Other Details TradeData’s statistics are mostly sourced from a country’s customs clearance documentation for imports and Export Declarations for exports. Most countries do not release company names and address associated with their trade statistics. Thus for most countries TradeData is NOT able to supply company details. However some countries do release this information. For further information please click here to email us Confidentiality in Trade Statistics Several countries like Australia, New Zealand, Europe and others for some products restrict access to some statistics for reasons of confidentiality. This is particularly evident in Australian import and export statistics. If this is a concern please discuss with TradeData. For further information please click here to email us Australian Imports Clearance Statistics with additional Tariff and related details This is a second Australian imports data set with more detailed tariff and related information. The additional information covers:

  • TREATMENT in particular has references to Anti-dumping duties when they apply;
  • PREFERENCE refers to special or preferential duty rates that apply to some countries of origin or government agencies or projects covered by a by-law, etc.;
  • STAT RATE indicates the statistical rate that applies;
  • While BEC (Basic economic indicator) refers to the level of value added to the product.

Whilst this additional information is useful it comes with the loss of some details normally found in the normal Australian Imports data set. TradeData has analysed both data systems and developed concordances between the two and we will advise clients on which data to use – when and why. For further information please click here to email us