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The Spire Project: Import and Export Statistics
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Once you have decided to reach for trade statistics, reach for the best. All the general statistics and trade links are of limited relevance compared to knowing the volume of tuna exported to Japan. We can try to identify specific exporting firms, potential markets and existing trade patterns. We list here statistics prepared by the national statistical agencies, certain directories of possible interest, and a database of port traffic.


to article list Trade Data Online
webpage Trade Data Online ( is a service by Industry Canada, presenting trade information from Statistics Canada and the US Bureau of the Census. This free database presents trade data for both the US and Canada. Results either list imports and exports by product (down to the level of "pulp of wood and the like", or "footwear", or imports and exports by industry ("fruit farms" or "contract logging industry"). Further description appears on this website.

In every way, this is a brilliant tool, except the depth of categories. Results can be as specific as exports from British Columbia to Afghanistan, divided by month in CA$ or US$. For more detail, we need to reach for the paid services below.


to article list Directories
bookdatabasehelp Kompass directories list manufacturing firms by product. If you are looking for the manufacturer of plastic disk slips - here is where you go. They are a bit tricky to use, so read our simple guide first. Kompass directories list manufacturing companies, which may suggest potential exporters.

Kompass is produced by Kompass [US] or Kompass International. Print directories exist for most countries while Kompass databases cover regions (e.g. Kompass Asia/Pacific). Large libraries will have some of the print directories. Further descriptions can be found from Dialog,

book Australian Exports by Austrade, gives the names of major firms divided by product and service. Volume of trade is not provided but this directory, and directories like this, do provide the names responsible for the trade numbers you can dinf through using other resources (like export statistics from the Australian Bureau of Statistics). The American Export Register provides similar information.


to article list US Trade Statistics
The US Customs Service collects import and export information but the US Census Bureau and Stat-USA (a commercial wing of the Dept of Commerce) compile this information. The Trade Data Online listed above is a free version of this information but at a shallow level.
database The National Trade Data Bank (NTDB) is a subscription service to US import and export statistics offered through Stat-USA. Costs are US$50/quarter or US$150/yr. This data is accessed through the stat-usa website. The database extends down to the level of "0105190020 Turkeys, Live, Weighing Not Over 185 G Each (SIC0259)".

The subscription price also entitles you to a range of further economic data, so you will want to investigate this a little further. Start here.

webpage The US Census Bureau also sells trade data collected by the US Customs Service. Start at USA Trade Statistics.

to article list Canadian Trade Statistics
Canadian customs information is either available through The Trade Data Online listed above (a free but at a shallow trade database), or through the Canadian International Merchandise Trade Database, also by Statistics Canada.
database The Canadian International Merchandise Trade Database delivers specific imports and exports from Canada - and provides you with a quote for the cost. Works like a shopping trolley, and Statistics Canada accepts payment by credit card. Start from this page.

to article list Australian Trade Statistics
webpage All the Australian Trade Statistics are prepared by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS). Import and Export statistics are collected by the customs authority, then released as a paid service directly from the ABS prepared to the level of classification you need. Prices are arranged by quote.

Due to privacy concerns you will not be able to pinpoint who is exporting/importing but you will get totals, by state if you wish, for commodities. This is a paid service. To start, contact the ABS by phone.

to article list PIERS - Port traffic database.
database PIERS ( is a database of port traffic. Based upon the port documents (manifest & bill of lading), the complete database compiles this information into specific categories, countries and the like. The PIERS database covers imports and exports from the US, Mexico and a collection of south and Latin American countries. Of particular interest, summary data is also available through the website (sample). A report detailing the top importers of olives from Italy costs US$87 when I looked.

Databases are organized as US or Mexico, Import or Export. Consider reading the further descriptions from Dialog.


Article ListResearch CommentarySeminar datesUpdate Notices As each national statistical bureau records and monitors imports and exports, read the National Statistical Agencies article for directions to other country statistics. For those tempted to trawl for internet resources, consider International Trade Web Resources by the Federation of International Trade Associations, a site recommended by Argus.

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