Part of Oral Answers to Questions — Trade and Industry – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 13th January 1988.

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Photo of Mr Robert Atkins Mr Robert Atkins , South Ribble 12:00 am, 13th January 1988

Britain's trade balance in chemicals, as measured by the ratio of our exports to our imports, fell by 9 per cent. between 1979 and 1986. This was much the same as the OECD average. Among the top 10 OECD exporters of chemicals, France saw a 4 per cent. increase in her export-import ratio and the United States saw a fall of 39 per cent. Throughout this period the United Kingdom has had a substantial surplus on her trade in chemicals.

Between 1979 and 1986 Britain's share of OECD exports of chemicals was unchanged at 9·5 per cent. Among the OECD's major exporters of chemicals, the changes ranged from an increase of 13 per cent. in Japan's share to a decrease of 13 per cent. in the share held by the United States.