Export unit value and import price index
Foreign trade price indices are indicators describing price dynamics of exported and imported goods. These indices are used for calculating the Gross Domestic Product at constant prices, as well as for the purposes of economic analysis.
Concepts and definitions
Export unit value and import price index
The export unit value and import price index (EUVI and IPI) characterises changes in the price level of exported and imported goods within the reporting period against the base period. Price index is acquired by comparing strictly defined prices of goods in reference month as compared to the same prices of goods in base period. The unit value index is a "price" index that measures average value changes in a heterogeneous cluster of units. Therefore, it may be influenced by changes both in the composition of this cluster and in individual prices.
The average unit value is obtained by dividing the value of exported/imported goods in monetary terms with the respective amount of the goods (weight, volume etc).
Changes in the export unit value / import price
Changes in the export unit value / import price over the corresponding period of the previous year reflect changes in the unit value / price over the year.
Changes in the export unit value / import price over the previous period (month or quarter) show changes in the average unit value / price over the month / quarter.
Data collection and statistical processing
Survey method and data source
For the calculation of export unit value and import price indices the CSB Foreign trade statistical data base and the submitted statistical report forms on the prices of imported goods (1-ic, 2-ic) and corresponding industrial producer price indices of heterogeneous groups of export goods are used.
In order to calculate the EUVI and IPI, foreign trade information on the previous year is analysed, selecting those codes of the Combined Nomenclature on the lowest 8-digit level where during a year the export value at FOB prices* or import volume at CIF prices** in the country altogether exceeds 0.01% of total export or import value and during the year export/import activities have been recorded for at least 8 months. Items with large fluctuations of the average monthly prices are not included in the sample.
Enterprises with the largest share (by value) in the respective CN code are involved into import prices survey. For further price collection enterprises select goods (item representatives) that are imported regularly and in large amounts.
* FOB price – price of a good, which is made up by value of a good, including costs of transportation and insurance to the border of export country.
** CIF price – price of a good, which is made up by value of a good, including costs of transportation and insurance to the border of import country.
For the calculation of foreign trade price indices Foreign trade statistics database of the CSB is used.
In 2020, in total more than 1.3 thousand CN codes were represented in IPI sample, and more than 0.8 thousand CN codes were represented in EUVI sample. For the calculation of EUVI, additionally more than 0.5 thousand items are used for industrial producer price index exported production. IPI calculations are based on approximately 8.6 thousand prices obtained by surveying 1438 enterprises (286 enterprises submit form No. 1-IC, for others foreign trade statistics database is used). In total, EUVI sample includes approximately 83 % of the total volume of CN items in Latvian exports and IPI approximately 74 % of the items in Latvian imports.
For the calculation of EUVI and IPI a Laspeyres type formula is applied. Indices are calculated starting from the lowest level. As the weights the export/import volume in the terms of value of the previous year is used according to sections and divisions of the CPA (Statistical classification of products by activity). Prices of December of the previous year or average unit values are used as the basis for price comparison.
Index comparison (base) period is 2015 (2015=100).
If upon using corrected, revised or delayed information in calculations significant (more than 0.1 percentage points) influence of corrections on the total unit value index within a year (over the corresponding month of the previous year) is found, the published EUVI and IPI data for the previous period are corrected. Revised indices are published together with the data on the next reference period, indicating the correction.
Until 2014 EUVI and import unit value index (IUVI) calculations were carried out according to CN classification. By CN comparable data on the EUVI are available since 1994 and on the IUVI – since 1998.
To ensure data comparability among countries and conformity to Council Regulation (EC) No 1165/98 (19 May 1998) on short-term statistics, in calculations of price indices since 2014 CN is replaced with Statistical classification of products by activity (CPA). Comparable data by CPA are available since 2011. Classification conversion tables can be found on the homepage of the Statistical Office of the European Union Eurostat/ ESS-MH/ RAMON.
Due to different structure and coverage of CN and CPA classifications, slight discrepancies may occur in comparison of EUVI and IUVI general indices over base 2010=100.
Starting with 2018 IUVI indicator is calculated as price index (on the basis of Regulation (EU) 2019/2152 of the European Parliament and of the Council). When moving to price index, unit value is not used.
According to requirements set to countries of euro area, since 2014 IPI (previously IUVI) must be calculated and sent to the Eurostat accordingly trade transactions with countries of euro area and non-euro area. This breakdown is applied to sections B, C, D of CPA and separate main groupings of manufacturing. To ensure data comparability among countries, indices coverage and level of detailed elaboration published by the Eurostat is narrower and differs from coverage of indices published in the CSB database. Eurostat data do not cover sections A and E of CPA. Due to differences in the number of decimals to be published, the data available in Eurosta and CSB databases may slightly differ due to rounding adjustments.
Contact person on methodology
Producer Price Indices Section