Global nutrient trade 1986-2020

Published: 8 September 2023| Version 2 | DOI: 10.17632/dmm4gnx5w7.2
Nick Smith


Data on bilateral trade in nutrients for human consumption between countries for the period 1986-2020. Created through the combination of bilateral food trade data from COMTRADE and FAOSTAT with USDA food composition data. Adjusted for edible portion (USDA) and proportion allocated to food use (FAOSTAT food balance sheets).


Steps to reproduce

Country-level bilateral trade data from 1986 to 2020 for food items appropriate for human consumption was obtained from the FAOSTAT Detailed Trade Matrix and the United Nations Database on International Trade Statistics. Food import data from FAOSTAT was combined with fisheries import data from COMTRADE into a single dataset. Domestic supply-to-food ratios from FAOSTAT for each food item in each importing country were applied to food traded to ascertain the portion consumed as food. Values were further converted into tonnes of each food item for consumption using appropriate conversion factors to exclude inedible parts (e.g., animal bones, vegetable peel, etc.). The conversion of food trade data to nutrient trade data was performed using the framework of the DELTA Model®. Food items were matched to food composition data from the United States Department of Agriculture Food Composition Tables, and the quantities of 48 nutritional components were calculated.


Nutrition, International Trade, Trade, International Nutrition, Global Trade, Human Nutrition


Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Científico e Tecnológico


Coordenação de Aperfeiçoamento de Pessoal de Nível Superior


Ministry for Primary Industries