Industrial Commodity Statistics

Technical Notes

This page explains the methodology used in the Industrial Commodity Statistics Yearbook, including the selection and coding of commodities, presentation of data, and the annexes.

The selection of industrial commodities is based on the United Nations List of Industrial Products, established in 2005.

Commodities presented in the Yearbook are shown in order of their CPC-based code. Each table in this publication covers data for one commodity code only.

Volume I of this publication shows data for the production of commodities in physical quantities, such as metric tons, cubic metres, square meters, kilowatts etc.

The metric system of weights and measures has been used throughout this publication. As far as possible, data are shown using one common unit per table only. However, in a few cases, where a sufficiently large number of countries have provided data in a secondary unit, data are shown in more than one unit for a single table. Data shown in the secondary unit are identified by corresponding footnotes. In some other cases, where larger groups of countries have reported data for a single commodity in different units, the data for this commodity is shown in separate tables for each unit to facilitate the display of otherwise incomparable data. In these few cases, the tables use the same commodity code and description, but carry an additional identifier to alert the user to this situation.

Volume II shows data for these commodities in terms of monetary value of production (as defined above).

While information has been collected from countries in terms of national currency, the data have been converted to US Dollars to facilitate comparison among countries. The data provided in national currency have been converted by applying the corresponding exchange rates as reported by the IMF. These are annual period-averages of the exchange rates communicated to the IMF by the monetary authority of each member country. For countries not reported by the IMF, the exchange rates used are the annual average of United Nations operational rates of exchange which were established for accounting purposes and which are applied in official transactions of the United Nations with these countries. These exchange rates are based on official, commercial and/or tourist rates of exchange. In cases, where the exchange rates reported by the IMF or UN operational rates of exchange would cause unrealistic results, price-adjusted rates of exchange (PARE), developed by the United Nations Statistics Division, have been used as an alternative.

The Yearbook includes three annexes:

Annex I is an index of all commodities in the UN List of Industrial Products in alphabetical order, which also indicates whether that particular commodity is included in Volume I or II of the present publication.

Annex II shows a correspondence table between the commodities in the UN List of Industrial Products and the corresponding product or activity categories in the Central Product Classification (CPC) Version 1.1 and Version 2, the Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System (HS) 2002 and 2007, the International Standard Industrial Classification of All Economic Activities (ISIC) Revision 3.1 and Revision 4, the Products of the European Community (Prodcom 2002 and 2008), as well as the previously used 1971 UN List of Industrial products.

Annex III provides references (links) to all classifications used in this publication, including those referenced in footnotes.

Information on commodities not shown in this publication is still available in the Commodity Statistics Database. However, in these cases information is typically available only for a small number of countries. Information is also available online through the UN Data website at