Data Notes

TradeStats Express provides statistics on U.S. merchandise trade only. Statistics on U.S. trade in services are not yet available. Trade data is provided by United States Department of Commerce, Bureau of the Census, Foreign Trade Division.

Merchandise includes all tangible goods - e.g., manufactures, raw materials, and unprocessed agricultural commodities. 

Queried trade values are expressed in thousands of current U.S. dollars. Data downloaded in CSV format through the Download Center are actual values in current U.S. Dollars. No adjustments have been made to correct for inflation, seasonal effects, or other factors.

U.S. Exports at State and Regional Levels
U.S. Exports at the National Level

U.S. Exports at State and Regional Levels

State export values available on this web page cover the years 1999 through 2009 and are tabulated on a NAICS (North American Industry Classification System) basis for broad product categories (3-digit level of detail). All figures are for total exports (domestic exports plus re-exports), reflect initial unrevised data, and are on a Free Alongside Ship value basis. (For definitions of technical terms and other information on U.S. trade data, visit http://www.census.gov/foreign-trade/guide/).

All state export statistics are drawn from the Origin of Movement (OM) series compiled by the Foreign Trade Division of the U.S. Census Bureau. The OM data supplant the Exporter Location (EL) state export statistics used earlier in TradeStats Express. The EL series, which credited exports to states based on the location of the exporter of record, has been discontinued by the Census Bureau due to recent data collection anomalies. Thus all state data disseminated by Census and featured on this website will be exclusively on an OM basis. For a more complete explanation of the Census Bureau decision to terminate the EL series, visit http://www.census.gov/foreign-trade/Press-Release/notice.html .

The OM series is based on a totally different methodology from that of the EL series and measures an entirely different dimension of exporting activity. Consequently, OM numbers cannot be linked with historical EL numbers to arrive at a meaningful time series. For details on differences between the OM and EL figures, visit http://www.census.gov/foreign-trade/aip/elom.html#om.

The OM series was originally designed to measure the transportation origin of exports, as an aid to transportation planners and marketers. The series credits export merchandise to the state where the goods began their final journey to the port (or other point) of exit from the United States, as specified on official U.S. export declarations filed by shippers. The OM can be either the location of the factory where the export item was produced or, in many cases, the location of a distributor, warehouse, or cargo processing facility.

Since the place from which merchandise began its export journey is not necessarily the place where the merchandise was produced, the OM series does not furnish reliable data on the production origin of U.S. exports. As a result, OM data also cannot be used to estimate the number of jobs in each state that is supported by exports. (For information on state-level export-supported jobs, visit http://www.ita.doc.gov/td/industry/otea/jobs.html.

The OM series, although best suited for planning transportation facilities and marketing transportation services, is the only data series currently published by Census that credits merchandise exports to specific states and, as such, provides the most accurate available information on state export patterns and trends.

OM data cover exports of goods only. There are no comparable statistics for state exports of services, or state imports of services or goods. Consequently, it is not currently possible to calculate trade balances for individual states, for either goods or services.

The Census Bureau does make available merchandise export and import figures for Customs Districts, which are typically regions surrounding major ports and other transit points. These numbers measure the amount of goods entering and leaving a port, and they can be useful when planning port facilities. However, Customs District trade figures are compiled on a basis totally different from that of the state-level OM export series. Consequently, the two series should not be used together in an effort to estimate state trade balances.

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U.S. Exports at the National Level

All trade data available on TradeStats Express were generated from the Trade Policy Information System (TPIS), which is operated by the U.S. Department of Commerce's Office of Trade Industry Information. TPIS is an interagency database and retrieval system that provides statistical support for U.S. international trade negotiations.

All data files produced by TPIS are compiled from official statistics of the U.S. Department of Commerce, which are produced by the Foreign Trade Division (FTD) of the Bureau of the Census. Technical questions regarding the content, collection, and tabulation of U.S. foreign trade data should be directed to the FTD at 301-763-INFO or http://www.census.gov/foreign-trade/www. Many common questions regarding U.S. trade data are addressed in the FTD's Guide to Foreign Trade Statistics, which can be accessed at http://www.census.gov/foreign-trade/guide/.

Export statistics available on TradeStats Express include both domestic and foreign exports reported on a Free Alongside Ship value basis, as compiled from the FTD's EM545 monthly DVD. Domestic exports are goods produced in the United States. Foreign exports are re-shipments, i.e., goods exported from the United States that originated abroad.

Import statistics are for General Imports, Customs Value. General Imports include both imports for U.S. consumption and imports destined for bonded warehouses or Foreign Trade Zones under U.S. Customs custody. Import data are compiled from the Census Bureau's IM145 monthly DVD.

U.S. trade balances reported on this site are calculated by subtracting U.S. General Imports (Customs) from U.S. exports (FAS).

All trade statistics are derived from data reported on a statistical month basis and are unrevised. The data do not contain either errata corrections or timing adjustments.

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