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Sperm Oil

Volume 955: debated on Tuesday 24 October 1978

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asked the Secretary of State for Trade how many tonnes of sperm oil were imported into Great Britain in 1977; how many tonnes of sperm oil were exported; and how many tonnes were used by the British leather industry.

Following are the details of identifiable United Kingdom overseas trade in sperm whale oil in 1977. In 1975, the latest year for which estimates are available, of total purchases of fat-liquors by the leather industry of about 5,000 tons, some 1,500 tons were known to contain sperm oil. The present level of purchases of fat-liquors is believed to be about 20 per cent. lower, with a reduction in the proportion known to contain sperm oil from 30 per cent. to 24 per cent. However, there may also be some sperm oil content in some of the proprietary products of undeclared composition used by the industry.

1977 (tonnes)
(a) Sperm oil, crude or refined but not otherwise processed5,1961,574
(b) Sperm oil (and other whale oil) processed by hydrogenation, etc.*35134

Source: United Kingdom Overseas Trade Statistics, SITC (R)—( a) Sub-group 411.1 (part) and ( b) Sub-group 431.2 (part). Figures are rounded.

* No licences were granted by the Department of the Environment for the importation or exportation of the oil of whales other than sperm whales in 1977. The trade under this heading can, therefore, be taken to be entirely in sperm oil.