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Volume 975: debated on Friday 7 December 1979

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asked the Secretary of State for Trade what was the landed price per ton of (a)polyester filament yarn, (b) texturised polyester yarn and (c) synthetic tufted pile carpets in 1979 to date before payment of duty in the case of imports from the United States of America and the EEC, respectively; what in each case is the estimated quantity of crude oil used as a raw material in the manufacturing process; what was the cost of crude oil in the United States of America, the United Kingdom and the EEC, respectively, in each quarter from the beginning of 1978; and how this compares with (i) the duty payable on each

Average valuecif) per tonne
United States Of AmericaEEC
(a) Non-textured yarn of continuous polyester fibres9911,838
(b) Textured yarn of continuous polyester fibres1,2691,595
(c) Tufted carpets, rugs, mats, and matting of man-made textile materials.1,2861,383
Source: United Kingdom Overseas Trade Statistics (SITC (R2) Items 651.44–46 and 659.51).
The other questions asked by the hon. Member are really matters for other Ministers. With regard to the quantity of oil used as a raw material in the manufacture of the goods in question, I am advised that the issues are complex. For flat and texturised polyester yarn much depends on the process used but broadly to make one tonne of either in the EEC would probably require about 1·65 tonnes of oil in the form of naphtha as a petrochemical feedstock.
In the United States of America, where natural gas is widely used instead of oil as a source of petrochemical feedstock for polyester yarn, a typical production route would probably use about 1·1 tonnes of naphtha to make one tonne of polyester yarn, the balance of the feedstock deriving from natural gas liquids. For synthetic tufted carpets differing amounts of synthetic fibres are likely to be used, depending on the specification.
In some nylon tufted carpets the nylon pile might account for about 40 per cent. of the manufacturers' selling price in the United Kingdom, and a somewhat greater percentage in the United States where production runs can be much larger and unit production costs lower. I understand that both in the EEC and the United States of America one tonne of nylon carpet yarn would probably require about 2·5 tonnes of naphtha as a source of feedstock. In both areas other feedstocks would be derived from natural gas.
The costs of crude oil in dollars per barrel are given in the table below. These are an aggregate of imported and domestic crude oil costs. The United States costs also include refinery purchases of natural gas liquids and unfinished oils and the cost of transportation of domestic crude to the refineries.
United States of America*United KingdomEEC
1st quarter12·1813·7013·80
2nd quarter12·3413·6713·75
3rd quarter12·4913·6713·75
4th quarter12·7713·8313·87
1st quarter13·4114·8514·81
2nd quarter15·6417·8217·48
* USA Monthly Energy Review. Department of Energy, Energy Information Administration.
† EEC Commission.
The customs duty on yarn of man-made fibres (continuous) not put up for retail sale is 9 per cent and on synthetic tufted pile carpets is 23 per cent.
The dollar exchange rate against the £ sterling was 1·7090 on 4 January 1977 and 2·1980 on 30 November 1979, an increase of 28·6 per cent.