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Imports (Statistics)

Volume 464: debated on Tuesday 3 May 1949

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asked the President of the Board of Trade whether in order to provide a better basis for comparison with exports, he will, each month, publish the approximate f.o.b. value of monthly imports in addition to the c.i.f. value.

No, Sir. In accordance with the International Convention relating to Economic Statistics signed by this country at Geneva in 1928, the statistics of imports into the United Kingdom published monthly in the Trade and Navigation Accounts must include the value of insurance and freight, and it would be very confusing if, in addition, estimated figures of imports on a f.o.b. basis were also published regularly. There are, moreover, difficulties in establishing a reliable estimate in the difference of the value of imports calculated on a f.o.b. and c.i.f. basis. We are, however, having the difficulties investigated, and hope that it may be possible to assess the relative importance of the value of insurance and freight included in the published figures.