Commodity Terms of Trade: A New Database


Bertrand Gruss ; Suhaib Kebhaj

Publication Date:

January 24, 2019

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Disclaimer: IMF Working Papers describe research in progress by the author(s) and are published to elicit comments and to encourage debate. The views expressed in IMF Working Papers are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the views of the IMF, its Executive Board, or IMF management.


This paper presents a comprehensive database of country-specific commodity price indices for 182 economies covering the period 1962-2018. For each country, the change in the international price of up to 45 individual commodities is weighted using commodity-level trade data. The database includes a commodity terms-of-trade index—which proxies the windfall gains and losses of income associated with changes in world prices—as well as additional country-specific series, including commodity export and import price indices. We provide indices that are constructed using, alternatively, fixed weights (based on average trade flows over several decades) and time-varying weights (which can account for time variation in the mix of commodities traded and the overall importance of commodities in economic activity). The paper also discusses the dynamics of commodity terms of trade across country groups and their influence on key macroeconomic aggregates.


Working Paper No. 2019/021



Publication Date:

January 24, 2019



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