The food and agricultural trade dataset is collected, processed and disseminated by FAO according to the standard International Merchandise Trade Statistics Methodology. The data is mainly provided by UNSD, Eurostat, and other national authorities as needed. This source data is checked for outliers, trade partner data is used for non-reporting countries or missing cells, and data on food aid is added to take into account total cross-border trade flows. The trade database includes the following variables: export quantity, export value, import quantity and import value. The trade database includes all food and agricultural products imported/exported annually by all the countries in the world.
HS 2012 converted into FAO Commodity List (also known as FCL, which is a classification based on the item tree approach used for the compilation of SUA/FBS).
The dataset contains all food and agricultural products imported and exported during the reference year by country. In addition to the individual country data, other item and country aggregates are disseminated. The processed trade data is essential for the compilation of Supply/Utilization Accounts (SUA) and Food Balance Sheets (FBS).
Statistical concepts and definitions:
Quantity of food and agricultural exports: Export quantity is defined by the IMTS as the physical quantity of domestic origin or manufactured products shipped out of the country. It includes re-exports. According to the FAO methodology, the quantity of food and agricultural exports included in the FAOSTAT database is expressed in terms of weight (tonnes) for all commodities except for live animals which are expressed in units (heads); poultry, rabbits, pigeons and other birds are expressed in thousand units. As a general rule, trade quantity refers to net weight, excluding any sort of container.
Value of agricultural exports: Value of agricultural exports are expressed in thousand US dollars in the FAOSTAT database. Export values are reported as FOB (free on board—that is, the value of the goods plus the value of the services performed to deliver the goods to the border of the exporting country).
Quantity of food and agricultural imports: Import quantity represents the physical quantity of the products imported for domestic consumption or processing shipped into a country. It includes re-imports. According to the FAO methodology, the quantity of food and agricultural imports included in the FAOSTAT database is expressed in terms of weight (tonnes) for all commodities except for live animals which are expressed in units (heads); poultry, rabbits, pigeons and other birds are expressed in thousand units. As a general rule, trade quantity refers to net weight, excluding any sort of container. It includes also food aid quantities, where relevant.
Value of agricultural imports: Value of agricultural imports are expressed in thousand US dollars in the FAOSTAT database. Import values are reported as CIF (cost insurance and freight—that is, the value of the goods, plus the value of the services performed to deliver goods to the border of the exporting country, plus the value of the services performed to deliver the good from the border of the exporting country to the border of the importing country).
All crops and livestock products registered by the customs office in the country. In case of non-customs trade data, the observation unit is the trade operator. For example, within intra-EU trade statistics, this unit is any taxable person carrying out intra-EU trade. For more information, see the IMTS compiler manual, edition 2012.
All trade data on food and agricultural products, including livestock, are compiled by all customs offices in the country. For intra-EU trade, the statistical population is all trade operators recording trade transactions over a certain threshold. Total merchandise import/export value is also included.