CEPII, Recherche et Expertise sur l'economie mondiale
World Trade Flows Characterization

2021 version: 2019 flows available

WTFC (World Trade Flows Characterization) provides reconciled unit values at the year – exporter – importer product level, and associates each flow with a trade type (one-way trade, intra-industry trade in similar products or in differentiated products) and a price range (low, middle or high range).

Product categories correspond to the Harmonized System nomenclature, at the 6-digit level, with more than 5000 items. A more aggregated version of the data, easier to handle, is proposed with the CHELEM nomenclature.

For more detailed explanations on the organisation and the content of the data, please read the documentation and the companion paper.
 Methodology: a Short Description
Unit values from TUV are harmonized following a method close to the one used to construct BACI. Transport costs are withdrawn when necessary and the reliability of each reporting country is assessed to give less weight to less reliable coutries when reconciling mirror trade flows.

Based on those harmonized unit values, a range is attributed to each trade flow by comparing its unit value to unit values of other flows of the same product.

We also provide tools to analyze intra-branch trade: the Grubel and Lloyd index and the Fontagné and Freudenberg (1997) categorization. Among the intra-branch flows, this categorization makes a distinction between trade in similar products and trade in differentiated products by comparing unit values.


Reference document to mention
C. Emlinger & S. Piton, (2014), 'World Trade Flows Characterization: Unit Values, Trade Types and Price Ranges', CEPII Working paper, n°2014-26.

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