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Updated: 30 August 2013

Please Note (about Trade Matrix)

A new dissemination policy regarding data for China was adopted in 2013. Data is disseminated separately for China, mainland (code 41), China, Hong Kong SAR (code 96), China, Macao SAR (code 128) and China, Taiwan Province of (code 214), and is aggregated under China (code 351). Previously in the Trade domain China (code 357) referred to the aggregate of China, mainland (code 41) and China, Taiwan Province of (code 214) while China, Hong Kong SAR (code 96) and China, Macao SAR (code 128) were disseminated separately.

Crop and livestock quantities are given in tonnes.
Live animals quantities are given in Heads; except for poultry/birds/rabbits/rodents in 1000 Head and Beehives in Number.
Values are given in 1000 US$.
About the detailed WATM

The Trade module provides comprehensive, comparable and up-to-date annual trade statistics by country, region and economic country groups for about 600 individual food and agriculture commodities since 1961.

The detailed food and agriculture trade data collected, processed and disseminated by FAO according to the standard International Merchandise Trade Statistics Methodology is mainly provided by the national authorities and other international organizations. The total merchandise trade value by country is annually updated according to the national publications on Balance of Payment and trade statistics and harmonised with the consolidated figures disseminated by the Inter-Agency Common Data Set (CDS) on Total Merchandise Trade Statistics by countries. 

This module contains:
 Detailed trade data
 Detailed trade matrix

About the WATM

While FAO does adjust/modify some official figures where there are evident inconsistencies (such as data entry errors, or out-of-trend unit value variations) the trade matrix data are un-reconciled. That is, a user may find that what country A officially declares as imports from country B will not correspond to what country B officially, and reciprocally, declares as its exports to country A, for a given commodity in a given year (in terms of quantity and/or value). There are a number of reasons which partly explain this:

-time lag: an export reported in December of a given year could reach destination in January of the following year (and would only then be reported as an import).
-some countries provide data on General Trade (all imports and exports + re-exports) while others on Special Trade (imports for domestic consumption).
-for single commodities there could be misclassification of the product between the exporter and importer.
-exported quantities could be destroyed or lost en route due to accidents, weather conditions, etc.
-simple typing/calculation errors by reporting country (we, however, attempt to rectify these when evident).
-data confidentiality by one of the reporters
-place of origin/final destination inconsistencies (e.g. country A reports that final destination country for a given export is country C; the goods actually reach country C via another country (B); country C reports that place of origin of goods is country B).
-Customs tax avoidance by misrepresenting a commodity on import or not reporting a transhipment. In particular cases: exports are not declared to circumvent an embargo.

With regards to discrepancies in reported values of trade (assuming that the corresponding reported quantities are identical):
Most countries report export values as Free-On-Board (FOB. i.e. insurance/transport costs are not included), while import values are mostly reported as Cost-Insurance-Freight (CIF. i.e. insurance/transport costs are included).Therefore, for a given agricultural commodity, the reported export value should be lower than the corresponding reported import value. The adjustment factor varies according to commodity, distance, packaging, etc. (For the FAOSTAT trade index numbers a standard incremental factor of 12% is applied to all the export values - but analysis of individual/specific data show that the range could be between 10% and 35% if not more).

The trade data here are rounded to the nearest metric ton.

General disclaimer

The designations employed and the presentation of materials in FAOSTAT do not imply the expression of any opinion whatsoever on the part of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations concerning the legal status of any country, territory, city or area or its authorities, or concerning the delimination of its frontiers or boundaries.

Where the designation "country" or "area" appears on this internet site, it covers countries, territories or areas.

The data of the FAOSTAT database shown on this internet site are copyrighted by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations and are provided for your internal use only. They may not be re-disseminated in any form without written permission of the FAO Statistics Division.

All references to FAOSTAT data will have to be mentioned with the proper URL and the access date.