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Alcohol

Volume 78: debated on Wednesday 1 May 1985

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asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food how much alcohol was distilled from wine, sugar-beet and other surplus agricultural products in the European Economic Community in 1973 and each of the past five years with the aid of subsidy; how this compares with the production of industrial alcohol; and what was the cost of the subsidies to the European Economic Community budget.

The quantities of alcohol distilled from wine and from surplus fruit under Community financed agricultural support arrangements and the costs involved were as follows. No alcohol was produced from sugar beet at the Community's expense.

Total alcohol distilled from wine with the aid of an EC subsidy

Millions of hectolitres

1973–74*1·1
1979–802·7
1980–813·2
1981–822·1
1982–833·2
1983–84†‡3·4

* Figures for 1972–73 not available.

† Provisional.
‡ Until 1984 the Commodity year ran from December to December; it now runs from 1 September to 31 August.

Cost to the EC of subsidising wine distillation (mecu)

1973

1980

1981

1982

1983

1984

Wine2·0194·5314·9390·5391·4

*869

By-products0·19·063·1†72
‡2·0194·6314·9399·5454·5941

* Includes 179 mecu incurred in 1983 but paid in 1984.

†Estimate.
‡Convened from old budgetary units of account (ua) into ecu using average conversion rate; figure is therefore approximate.

Source: EEC Commission financial reports.

Quantity of withdrawn fruit* distilled into alcohol ('000 tonnes)

Cost of compensation (mecu)

1973–74413‡21
1978–7945613·7
1979–8044522·5
1980–8150424·5
1981–8225219·4
1982–8386387·6

* Apples, pears and peaches.

† Paid to growers for withdrawals less receipts from sale of alcohol.
‡ 1973–74: Cost of compensation only—no figure for receipts from sale(s) available.

Source: Commission.

Note: 1 tonne of apples produces about 40 litres of alcohol. There are no figures for peaches and pears.

Production of synthetic alcohol in the same years was as follows.

Production of industrial (synthetic) alcohol in the community

Thousand hectolitres of pure alcohol

1973*4,469
19785,367
19795,740
1980†4,553
19814,342
1982‡4,712

* Estimate.

† 1973–80: Community of nine.
‡ 1981–82: Community of ten.

Sources: 1973: Commission estimate—Report to the Council of 28 September 1978.

1978–82: Commission documents.

1973 statistics were provided for the Select Committee on the European Communities, Session 1979–80, 21 report "Ethyl Alcohol".

1978–82 statistics were provided for the Select Committee on the European Communities, Session 1983–84, 16th report, "Ethyl Alcohol".