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The new Comtrade | the United Nations comprehensive global trade data platform
Table of Contents
|Table of Contents|
What is the legacy of the UN Comtrade? Until when can I use it?
The current websites and their services (https://comtrade.un.org/data and https://comtrade.un.org/db) are now considered legacy systems and will be decommissioned at the beginning of 2023. It means that all User Interfaces, including the Webservices and APIs, will not be accessible to all users.
The "legacy" system works fine. Why the change?
From the substantive part, it's mostly to accommodate the additional data items (i.e., mode of transport, alternate quantity units, tariffline data). From the technical part, it's to take advantage of the latest IT architecture and compliance with cybersecurity policies.
I'm a free user in the "legacy" system. What should I do now?
The free users are now split into anonymous and registered (free) users. The anonymous users can preview the data through the UI but cannot download it. To download, they need to register and create an account. The registered (free) users can access additional features, such as saving the query or code list.
I'm a premium user in the "legacy" system. What are the differences? How do I sign up for the new Comtrade?
As a premium user, you have access to all features of the New UN Comtrade, including bulk files download and data delivery. All existing legacy Comtrade subscribers need to create a new account with "Sign up now". Old username and password won't work with this new account. Once signed up, you should find the top right corner showing "My Comtrade Free." Please contact us so we can activate your premium access.
My organization uses IP authentication in the "legacy system" how do I know I'm being authenticated accordingly in the new UN Comtrade?
The new UN Comtrade no longer authenticates the IP addresses but the email domain. Therefore, you must log in (and register if you have not yet created an account) using your institutional email domain (such as @trade.gov).
After logging in, the login menu will change to "My Comtrade Premium." It indicates that the email domain is recognized as a premium subscriber. If it stays at "My Comtrade Free", there is a possible issue with the subscription (such as an expired subscription), please contact us at email@example.com.
What is Bulk Download?
The bulk file download feature offers a quick download of large amounts of prepackaged datasets in compressed files. Each file consists of data for the combination of goods/services, classification, frequency, country, and period (for example, merchandise trade data of Germany March 2022 in HS2022 classification). As of mid-2022, there are around 170,000 datasets in UN Comtrade, and the number keeps growing.
What is Data Delivery?
The data delivery (formerly known as batch download) feature delivers large data (up to 1 million records) to your inbox. Please be aware the data delivery might not be the right tool for some users, for example, when extracting a single commodity code for all reporters for all periods. Meanwhile, a regular download is unsuitable because of restrictions of up to 100,000 records per query.
I have some saved groups/queries in the "legacy" system. Can I move them over?
The aggregation feature has been optimized. Grouping is now achieved by using the query option "Aggregate By" which groups all data based on the chosen aggregation values from the list.
The new system also offers to save code lists and queries, as in the legacy system, allowing users to recall previous selections. There is no feature to migrate legacy saved groups to the new code lists. However, we can help. Please get in touch with us and provide your legacy saved ID and your registered email in the new system.
I read that New UN Comtrade offers a data lake. How can I access it?
Comtrade data lake eliminates data downloads before analyzing, and an analyst can run the codes directly on the platform. We have a prototype of the data lake; however, it's still being tested.
Which new datasets have been added?
Comtrade contains more breakdowns (mode of transport, 2nd partner country, custom procedure codes) and measurements (trade values in CIF and FOB, trade quantity in secondary unit codes, and gross weight) which opens up more granular and targeted data analysis. Please note the availability of these data items may vary according to the national reporting standard. Further information on the description and limitations are available at https://comtrade.un.org/data/doc/UpgradePlan
The excel file contains description of data variables including their code lists.
View file name ComtradePlus - data items - 17 Mar 2020.xlsx height 150
Where can I learn more about the UN Comtrade methodology?
You can read the following document: Methodology Guide for UN Comtrade.
Why are some converted datasets not accessible in the UI of the new Comtrade?
Due to a significant increase in data size, some datasets are only accessible through the Bulk interface. For example, querying HS 1988 1992 (H0) is no longer possible through the query interface or data API. Instead, they are accessible through the Bulk interface and API. It means running a query with specific selection criteria is no longer feasible. See the list of available data below.
Who should I contact if I have data (substantive) or technical questions?
For technical questions about the Comtrade site or data, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Is there any Python/R package to call the APIs?
As an alternative of calling the APIs directly, the Python package comtradeapicall can be utilized. It is available at the Python Package Index: https://pypi.org/project/comtradeapicall/. Instruction and examples are available at the project site in PyPi and at GitHub https://github.com/uncomtrade/comtradeapicall. See below.
# Extracting tariffline data into a data frame mydf = comtradeapicall.previewTarifflineData(typeCode='C', freqCode='M', clCode='HS', period='202205', reporterCode='36', cmdCode='91,90', flowCode='M', partnerCode=36, partner2Code=None, customsCode=None, motCode=None, maxRecords=500, format_output='JSON', countOnly=None, includeDesc=True) # Downloading tariffline data to specific folder comtradeapicall.bulkDownloadTarifflineFile(subscription_key, directory, typeCode='C', freqCode='A', clCode='HS', period='2010', reporterCode=504, decompress=True)
Unfortunately, the R package is not available.