The Chatham House Resource Trade Database tracks bilateral trade in natural resources between more than 200 countries and territories between 2000 and 2014. 

The database covers the weight and value of trade in over 1,200 different types of natural resources and resource products, including agricultural, fishery and forestry products, fossil fuels, metals and other minerals. It contains both raw materials and intermediate products.

The original source of the data is the United Nations Commodity Trade Statistics Database (UN COMTRADE), which is compiled by the United Nations Statistics Division. UN COMTRADE is the most comprehensive source of trade statistics, with data on the value and weight of global trade across over 5,000 HS Codes since 1973. However, the organization of UN COMTRADE around products makes tracking natural resources challenging. The presence of between one and four data points on any trade flow (value and weight, exporter and importer) also complicates its use.

The Chatham House Resource Trade Database reorganizes the data around natural resources, and reconciles reports from exporters and importers to produce single entries – each representing the aggregate value (US$) and weight (kg) of a single commodity flow from one country to another over one year. A systematic process has been developed to identify and manage errors and gaps in the data.

A full methodology will be posted here soon. For all enquiries in the meantime, please contact Sian Bradley

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