IMM webinar on trade data tools attracts a large audience
The updated open access IMM Data Dashboard and STIX websites allow users to tailor timber trade data presentation and analysis to their requirements. To be of value to timber businesses, and other sector stakeholders, it’s vital that industry trade data is both current and accessible - available in comprehensible, user-friendly and relevant formats. The IMM’s Data Dashboard has recently been redeveloped to make it easier to navigate. New visualization tools have also been added, so users can select and present information specific to their needs.
Clearly underlining market interest in data, the recent webinar hosted by the IMM demonstrating the capabilities of the Dashboard and STIX attracted a capacity international audience of 100 – and the webinar is now available to view.
Besides being of value and use to the trade in following and analyzing market trends, IMM Trade Analyst Rupert Oliver explained that the Dashboard has various other remits.
“It supports the work of IMM correspondents, who undertake trade and specific sector surveys which feed into its annual report and sectoral studies, and also informs policy makers involved in the development of FLEGT and market strategies for the initiative,” he said.
The Dashboard, which is updated monthly, covers product classified under HS codes 44 (wood), 47 (pulp), 48 (paper) and 94 (furniture) and uses the highest HS resolution, including multiple items within each product category.
It comprises two components, a Monitoring Board and Market Trends facility. The former gives a broad overview of the EU and UK’s tropical timber trade, setting trade flows from FLEGT-engaged countries in the context of their wider tropical imports from all sources of supply. It also shows trends in the global tropical trade by import country, with the latter segregated by importers which operate market legality controls, such as the EU with the EU Timber Regulation and the US with the Lacey Act, and non-regulated countries.
The Market Trends facility allows users to break down statistics under various parameters, selecting, perhaps, imports of specific products by a particular EU country from a range of timber suppliers. The data can then be downloaded in raw tabular format, or graphically – and users can also create their own Sankey diagrams on the site.
Launched last year, the STIX website (www.stix.global) was developed under the IMM project as a joint initiative between the ITTO and Global Timber Forum. It obtains its monthly-updated data from Eurostat-Comext, UK HMRC and commercial provider Business and Trade Statistics Ltd. It harmonises value data into dollars and euros and also validates quantity data, using its own algorithm to remove errors and discrepancies.
It provides data under the same product codes as the Dashboard, but for 46 reporting countries. These include nearly all the world’s leading timber importers and exporters, between them accounting for at least 90% of global trade.
Users can define data presented by importer and supplier country. They can select by product, value, or quantity and see the data in graphical and tabular format.
In the webinar, IMM Lead Consultant Sarah Storck also emphasized that both STIX and the Dashboard are undergoing continual improvement.
“Both facilities have feedback functions for users to share their thoughts on further developments,” she said. “The more input we get, the better and more useful our data and analysis will be.”
A longer version of this article first appeared in the UK Timber Trades Journal (www.ttjonline.com).