HC Deb 22 March 1976 vol 908 cc3-4W
25. Mr. Hardy

asked the Secretary of State for Energy if he will take steps to promote and secure increased coal exports from the United Kingdom.

Mr. Eadie

The National Coal Board is making every effort to expand exports to existing outlets and to secure new ones and in this it has my full support.

Mr. Hardy

asked the Secretary of State for Energy what was the total volume of coal exports and imports during each of the last seven years; and what is his estimate for the year 1976–77.

Mr. Eadie

Statistics of coal imports and exports are published in the Digest of United Kingdom Energy Statistics available in the Library of the House. For convenience the following are the figures:

Exports million tons Imports
1969 3.4 Negligible
1970 3.3 "
1971 2.7 4.2
1972 1.7 4.9
1973 2.7 1.6
1974 1.8 3.5
1975 2.1 5.0

In addition there are substantial net exports of coal products from the United Kingdom.

It is not possible at this stage to give precise estimates for the years 1976–77. Broadly, expectations are that imports will decline substantially as contracts entered into during the 1974 shortage expire, and that export opportunities will increase as economic activity picks up and the market strengthens.