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Trade Deficit

Volume 885: debated on Wednesday 29 January 1975

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asked the Secretary of State for Trade, if he will publish figures showing the breakdown of the United Kingdom's trade deficit with the EEC for 1974 by sector and comparable figures for 1973 for each sector.

An analysis of the crude trade deficit can be obtained from the figures of imports c.i.f. and exports f.o.b. in Tables II and V respectively in the December 1974 issue of the monthly Overseas Trade Statistics, an advance copy of which is available in the House of Commons Library. Similar information for 1973 may be obtained from the December 1973 issue of the Overseas Trade Statistics. The crude trade deficit—the difference between imports c.i.f. and exports f.o.b.—is not a good measure of the trade in goods because,

countries of oil and petroleum products during 1973 and 1974; and what proportion these imports formed of our total trade deficit with these countries in each year.

In 1973 the value of imports of petroleum and petroleum products—Division 33 of the Standard International Trade Classification (Revised)—from the EEC was £233 million, on a balance of payments basis. In 1974 the corresponding figure is provisionally estimated at £630 million. These imports accounted for one-fifth of the total visible trade deficit with the EEC in 1973 and, provisionally, for nearly one-third in 1974.