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28 April 2009

Historical Data 1900-1960

on international merchandise trade statistics

The purpose of this webpage is to provide access and references to historical merchandise trade data for the years 1900-1960 to the extent that such information is available at the Trade Statistics Branch of the United Nations Statistics Division (UNSD).

1. International Trade Statistics 1900-1960, Statistical Office of the United Nations, May 1962 (Draft paper)

This publication is only available as a draft paper and it is indicated that “The data contained in the present paper should be regarded as preliminary, it is requested that no use be made of them until final publication.” Yet, the paper appears to be based on solid research and it is the best source for historical data available to us. Nevertheless this information is provided without assuming any responsibility for the accuracy of the data and only as a special service to interested users which can use this data under their own responsibility and according to their own judgment.

Tables I-XXIII give for total world exports and for the exports and imports of twenty-two individual countries, years 1900-1913, 1921-1938, 1948 and 1950-1960, current values in United States dollars and value indices of: (a) total trade, (b) trade in manufactured goods, and (c) trade in other goods. The twenty-two countries were chosen according to importance in world trade and availability of national trade statistics for the whole period.

The direction of trade can be seen from tables XXIV and XXV which, for the years 1900, 1913, 1928, 1935, 1938, 1948, 1953 and 1959, show world exports by provenance and destination by major areas and destination of exports for the twenty-two countries shown separately.

Historical data 1900-1960 (as individual files).zip

Historical data 1900-1960 (as single document).pdf

2. References to publications providing historical data on international merchandise trade statistics

The titles and publication numbers of the balance of payment reviews issued by the League of Nations up and including 1938 are set out below for reference (source: United Nations, Balance of Payments 1939-1945, 1948, page 6):

Title
Year
League of Nations Publication Series No.
Memorandum on Balance of Payments and Foreign Trade Balances, Volume І
1910-1923
___
1910-1924
___
1910-1925
1926.ІІ.51І
Memorandum on International Trade and Balances of Payments, Volume І
1912-1926
1927.ІІ.68І
1913-1927
1928.ІІ.53І
Ditto, Volume ІІ
1926-1928
1929.ІІ.51ІІ
1927-1929
1930.ІІ.54ІІ
Balance of Payments
1930
1931.ІІ.A.28ІІ
1931-1932
1933.ІІ.A.26
1933
1934.ІІ.A.19
1934
1935.ІІ.A.20
1935
1936.ІІ.A.18
1936
1937.ІІ.A.16
1937
1938.ІІ.A.18
1938
1939.ІІ.A.20

For questions and comments please contact:


United Nations Statistics Division
International Merchandise Trade Statistics Section (IMTSS)
DC2-1544, 2 United Nations Plaza
New York , NY 10017, USA
Fax: 1 (917) 367 5106
E-mail: comtrade@un.org