§ Mr. Austin Mitchell
asked the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry whether he will publish in the Official Report the evidence he has on importers' margins in the United Kingdom and other countries in recent years and currently.
§ Mr. Peter Rees
I have been asked to reply.
The table following shows the ratio of United Kingdom import prices for manufactures to a weighted average of prices of main manufacturing countries' exports of manufactures in a common currency. While the ratio rose between 1978 and 1980, it has since fallen back. This suggests that United Kingdom import prices of manufactures have risen less than main manufacturing countries' exports of manufactures prices since 1981, and hence that profit margins on importing into the United Kingdom have been falling relative to margins on importing into other countries.
Ratio of unit value index for United Kingdom imports of manufactures to weighted average of main manufacturing countries' exports of manufactures' UVIs in a common currency Year 1978 92 1979 94 1980 100 1981 96 1982 92 1st quarter 91 2nd quarter 91 3rd quarter 93 4th quarter 91 1983 1st quarter 87 2nd quarter 93
SourceTables C15 and F2 of Monthly Review of External Trade Statistics, converted to common currency.