Direction of Trade (ICPSR 7628)

Version Date: Oct 23, 2014 View help for published

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International Monetary Fund


Version V2

These time series data supply detailed information on imports and exports for various countries and geographical areas of the world. Countries are grouped into three main categories: (1) Industrial Countries, (2) Developing Countries, and (3) USSR, Eastern Europe, etc. Along with data from reporting countries, estimates are provided by partner countries for nonreporting countries or for those that are slow to report. A subset of these data (Part 4), containing annual data from 1948 to 1978, is available as well.

International Monetary Fund. Direction of Trade. Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 2014-10-23.

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South America   Papua New Guinea   Cambodia   Paraguay   Kazakhstan   Syria   Solomon Islands   Bahamas   Gibralter   Montserrat   Mali   Marshall Islands   Panama   Guadeloupe   Laos   Argentina   Falkland Islands   Africa   Seychelles   Zambia   Belize   Bahrain   Guinea-Bissau   Namibia   Finland   Comoros   Faroe Islands   Netherlands Antilles   Yemen   Eritrea   China (Peoples Republic)   Madagascar   Aruba   Ivory Coast   Libya   Western Samoa   Sweden   Malawi   Poland   Jordan   Bulgaria   Tunisia   United Arab Emirates   Tuvalu   Kenya   French Polynesia   Lebanon   Djibouti   Brunei   Cuba   Azerbaijan   Czech Republic   Mauritania   Saint Lucia   Israel   San Marino   Australia   Soviet Union   Tajikistan   Myanmar   Cameroon   Cyprus   Bermuda Islands   Malaysia   North America   Iceland   Global   Oman   Armenia   Gabon   Yugoslavia   Luxembourg   Brazil   Algeria   Slovenia   Antigua and Barbuda   Colombia   Ecuador   Moldova   Vanuatu   Italy   Honduras   Micronesia (Federated States)   Nauru   Haiti   Afghanistan   Burundi   Singapore   French Guiana   American Samoa   Russia   Netherlands   Martinique   Kyrgyzstan   Reunion   Bhutan   Romania   Togo   Philippines   Uzbekistan   Asia   Democratic Republic of Congo   British Virgin Islands   Zimbabwe   Pacific Ocean   Indonesia   Dominica   Benin   Angola   Sudan   East Timor   Portugal   New Caledonia   North Korea   Grenada   Greece   Cayman Islands   Latvia   Mongolia   Morocco   Iran   Bosnia-Hercegovina   Guatemala   Guyana   Iraq   Chile   Nepal   Georgia (Republic)   Ukraine   Tanzania   Ghana   Anguilla   India   Canada   Maldives   Turkey   Belgium   South Africa   Trinidad and Tobago   Central African Republic   Jamaica   Peru   Turkmenistan   Germany   Vietnam (Socialist Republic)   Fiji   Hong Kong   United States   Guinea   Somalia   Chad   Sao Tome and Principe   Thailand   Equatorial Guinea   Kiribati   Costa Rica   Pitcairn Island   Kuwait   Nigeria   Croatia   Sri Lanka   Uruguay   Cook Islands   United Kingdom   Switzerland   Spain   Palestine   Liberia   Venezuela   Burkina Faso   Swaziland   Palau   Estonia   Gaza Strip   Wallis and Futuna   South Korea   Austria   Mozambique   El Salvador   Guam   Lesotho   Tonga   Hungary   Japan   Europe   Belarus   Mauritius   Albania   New Zealand   Senegal   Macedonia   Ethiopia   Egypt   Sierra Leone   Bolivia   Malta   Wake Island   Saudi Arabia   Cape Verde   Pakistan   Gambia   Ireland   Qatar   Slovakia   France   Lithuania   Saint Kitts-Nevis   Niger   Rwanda   Bangladesh   Nicaragua   Barbados   Norway   Botswana   Saint Vincent and the Grenadines   Macao   Dominican Republic   Denmark   Mexico   Uganda   Suriname   Saint Helena   Greenland


ICPSR obtained these data from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) under the terms of a contract that states that the data are for the sole use of ICPSR and may not be sold or provided to third parties outside of the ICPSR membership. Individuals at institutions that are not members of ICPSR may obtain these data directly from the IMF.

Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research
1948 -- 1998
1948 -- 1998
  1. Due to an agreement between ICPSR and the IMF, this study is available only to users at ICPSR member institutions. Those who wish to use the study and are at non-member institutions should contact the IMF directly.

  2. ICPSR's subscription with the the IMF for monthly updates of the DIRECTION OF TRADE (ICPSR 7628) series expired with the July 1998 tapes.

  3. Part 1 data are stored in the packed zoned decimal format as distributed by the IMF. A supplemental COBOL processing program is available for use with this data file in the zipped package file ( Datasets 2, 3 and 5 are no longer distributed. Datasets 6, 7 and 8, respectively, comprise the yearly, quarterly, and monthly records as extracted from the IMF data file.

  4. The legacy documentation also documents the following IMF studies: DIRECTION OF TRADE (ICPSR S07628), INTERNATIONAL FINANCIAL STATISTICS (ICPSR S07629), BALANCE OF PAYMENTS STATISTICS (ICPSR S08623), and GOVERNMENT FINANCE STATISTICS (ICPSR S08624). The original codebook is part of dataset 1 for all four studies. Dataset 4 was reprocessed and now includes the current suite of ICPSR distribution files. The legacy documentation now distributed with this collection was distributed as the codebook for dataset 4 in previous releases of this study.

  5. Each time series in Part 1 can contain a variable number of logical records. The exact number of records in any time series in this collection is dependent upon the availability of annual, quarterly, and monthly data for trading partners. Approximately 61,000 time series are included in this collection.

  6. The term "country," as used in this dataset, does not in all cases refer to a territorial entity that is a state as understood by international law and practice. The term also covers some territorial entities that are not states but for which statistical data are maintained and provided internationally on a separate and independent basis. Data are expressed in millions of United States dollars.

  7. All exports are valued "free on board" (f.o.b.) and all imports "cost, insurance, and freight" (c.i.f.).

  8. Three datasets have been added to the collection. The new datasets comprise the yearly, quarterly, and monthly records extracted from the IMF data file. The variable extraction was performed using SAS's PROC DATASOURCE. Data files generated by this extraction were subsequently processed using ICPSR's automated production routine. The new data files should be considered as minimally processed as no variable value checks or comparisons were performed. The layout and/or content of the new data files may not match those of the original data files. The codebooks for each new dataset document only the variables in that dataset's data file and should be used in conjunction with the legacy documentation.


Approximately 180 countries and geographical areas.

Central bank reports and bulletins, IMF area departments, Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, International Labor Organization, IMF Treasurer's Department, the United Nations, the National Bureau of Economic Research, and information from national authorities.



2018-02-15 The citation of this study may have changed due to the new version control system that has been implemented. The previous citation was:
  • International Monetary Fund. Direction of Trade. ICPSR07628-v2. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 2014-10-23.

2014-10-23 Three datasets have been added comprising yearly, quarterly, and monthly records extracted from the original IMF data file in part 1 of this collection using SAS's PROC DATASOURCE. The Annual Data: 1948-1978 data file and the yearly, quarterly, and monthly data files have been processed using ICPSR's automated production routine as Part 4, 6, 7, and 8, respectively. These four parts include SPSS, SAS, and Stata setup files, SAS transport (CPORT) file, tab-delimited ASCII data file, R data file, and Variable description and Frequencies. The legacy codebook in Part 4 is now being distributed as a Data Documentation File. The COBOL FUNPACK program previously distributed as part 5 is now included in the zipped package file (


Data for Parts 1, 4, 6, 7 and 8 are not weighted. The data do not contain a weight variable.



  • Curation and dissemination of this study is provided by the institutional members of ICPSR, and data is available only to users at ICPSR member institutions. To determine if you are at a member institution, check the list of ICPSR member institutions, or learn more about becoming a member.