UN Comtrade upgrade plan 2018-2021

All UN Comtrade-related dissemination sites will be gradually upgraded in 2018-2019 to take advantage of new data items and features. A brief list of the planned new features is shown below. Read more on methodological updates/changes at Methodology Guide For Comtrade+.

  2018 2019 2020 2021
  Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4
Data WS UI v.0   (ending delayed) (ending)
Data API/UI v.1   (ending delayed) (ending)
Bulk API v.1   (ending delayed) (ending)
Data API/UI v.2   (delayed) (preview) (prod)
Bulk API v.2   (delayed) (preview) (prod)
Data Lake v.2   (delayed) (preview) (prod)

Important milestones:

  • By Quarter 1 2019, [preview]data API v.2 was made publicly available for public testing; users will be able to query data and metadata via the new data interface v.2; Note (Feb 2020) Please be informed that due to completion of data migration the coverage of [preview]data API v.2 would equal to [production]data API v.1.
  • By Quarter 1 2021, we plan to release [production] data API v.2 and [preview]data lake v.2
  • By Quarter 1 2021, we plan to release [production] bulk data API v.2 and [production]data lake v.2
  • By Quarter 3 2021, legacy merchandise monthly and services interfaces, web services and batch processing options (v.0 and v.1) will be discontinued. At this time, all features of API v.2 and upgraded batch mode will be in full production mode.

Previous System

Upgrades made with new system

Result for Comtrade Users

Three separate processing systems for annual and monthly Merchandise Trade Statistics and Trade in Services

One integrated processing system for all trade data

Improved consistency and timeliness of dissemination of trade data. Monthly Merchandise Trade Statistics will be disseminated the same way as annual Merchandise Trade Statistics data (e.g., will be converted to other classifications and missing quantities will be estimated)

Data items for Merchandise Trade Statistics included trade by commodity and by partner

In addition, new data items now include (when reported):

  • mode of transport
  • customs procedure codes
  • 2nd partner

More information on the nature of trade flows and partner country attribution, allowing for better analysis of bilateral trade asymmetries

Single valuation for Merchandise Trade Statistics imports (at CIF) and exports (at FOB)

In addition, FOB valuation for imports (when reported)

Symmetrical valuation of imports and exports and more information on insurance and freight costs, allowing for better analysis of bilateral trade asymmetries

Trade flows for Merchandise Trade Statistics consisted of Total Exports: Re-exports; Total Imports; and Re-Imports

Expanded breakdown of trade flows for Merchandise Trade Statistics (when reported) including Domestic Exports, Export/Import of goods after/for inward processing; Export/Import of goods for/after outward processing; and Export/Import on intra-firm trade

More information on the nature of trade flows, especially re-exports, re-imports, and goods for processing, and intra-firm trade

Merchandise Trade Statistics quantity units standardised to 12 World Customs Organization (WCO) recommended units

In addition, standardization to more quantity units (43+ units), when reported

Additional measures of quantity

Single weight (net weight in kg) for Merchandise Trade Statistics

In addition, gross weight (net weight plus the weight of the shipping or cargo container), when reported

More information on weight and shipping

Limited quantity estimations for Merchandise Trade Statistics (not all commodities estimated)

Estimation of quantity for all commodities; when applicable. However, some may not be shown for specific commodities

More complete quantity data; especially for aggregated data

Conversion for Merchandise Trade Statistics at 6-digit HS level only

Conversion at any HS level and improved conversion of residuals

More complete converted datasets

Only EBOPS2002 data disseminated for Trade in Services (EBOPS2010 data converted to EBOPS2002)

Trade in Services data also disseminated in EBOPS2010 (when reported in EBOPS2010)

Trade in Services data in both EBOPS2002 and EBOPS2010, when reported

Output Examples

Tab Delimited file:

Find attached file containing description of data items in API, Bulk Final and Bulk Tariffline :  

Find attached an Tab Delimited file with sample data (Bulk Final) from our new dissemination system (10MB in GZIP format):  

JSON response example (API for Merchandise Trade):

  "partner2ISO":"_X ",
  "cmdDesc":"Ivory, bone, tortoise-shell, horn, antlers, coral, mother-of-pearl and other animal carving material and articles of these materials; worked,(including articles obtained by moulding)",
  "customsDesc":"All customs procedure codes",

For questions, please contact comtrade@un.org