International Trade in Goods Statistics


International Trade in Goods ​Statistics are an essential part of Malta’s system of economic statistics. These are an integral part of the country’s balance of payments account, a key input in national accounts data, and are regarded as an important economic indicator of the performance of the Maltese economy. As a very open economy, Malta is heavily dependent on international trade. 

What is measured?​

International trade in goods statistics (ITGS) measure the value and quantity of goods traded between EU Member States (intra-EU trade) and goods traded by EU Member States with non-EU countries (extra-EU trade). ‘Goods’ means all movable property, including electricity. ‘European’ means that the statistics are compiled on the basis of the concepts and definitions set out in EU legislation. European ITGS are the official harmonised source of information about exports, imports and the trade balances of the EU, its Member States and the euro area.

The ITGS legislation has been closely aligned to the International Merchandise Trade Statistics (IMTS) concepts and definitions​ adopted in 2010 by the United Nations (UN) Statistical Commission.

Why are these statistics needed?

As international trade forms a major part of the world economy, statistics on trade in goods are an instrument of primary importance for numerous public and private sector decision makers. For example, international trade statistics:
  • ​enable EU authorities to prepare multilateral and bilateral negotiations under the common commercial policy;
  • enable EU authorities to evaluate the progress of the Single Market and the integration of EU economies;
  • enable EU authorities to define and implement anti-dumping policies;
  • constitute an essential source of information for balance of payments statistics, national accounts and economic studies;
  • help EU businesses conduct market research and define their commercial strategy.
  • are used by the Government to help set overall trade policy and generate initiatives on new trade areas. The commercial world uses these statistics to assess markets internally (e.g. to gauge import penetration) and externally (e.g. to establish new markets for their goods).

Statistics satisfy these needs in a variety of ways. Users may need annual aggregated data ​or detailed monthly data on products or partner countries. They may be interested in trade values in current prices or at constant prices. Alternatively, their interest may be in quantities rather than in values. These examples, which are far from exhaustive, show the diversity of users and their requirements.

Who are the statistics users?

Malta ​​contributes as legal obligation, through agreements and/or voluntarily, statistical information to European and international bodies such as Eurostat (the Statistical Office of the European Union), the United Nations and the International Monetary Fund.

Other users are:

  1. Policy makers​​
  2. Government entities
  3. Local and international companies
  4. Researchers
  5. Economists
  6. Analysts/ Market Analysts
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