Monday, 20 November 2017

UK exports to the European Union 1985 - 1994

More lovely numbers. Dontcha just love them?

Probably not, if you're less of a weirdo than me. But what do I care? The whole point of this blog is saying all the things my family don't want to hear.

Though I have just been discussing UK beer exports with Alexei. Some of the weird ones from the 1970's and 1980's. Who would have guessed that the UK was exporting beer to Saudi Arabia? It's no surprise that exports to there dried up after 1979. But how on earth did 72 barrels head that way in 1982? I'd love to know the story behind that.

Anyway, getting back to the numbers that actually appear in the table, this set shows some fascinating trends. Like the slump in exports to Belgium. And the sudden boom in ones to France. I can't help thinking there must have been some specific reason for the sudden jump in 1994.  It's almost a tenfold increase.

And why did UK exports to Europe more than double in 1994? Oh right. It's to do with the introduction if the Single Market in 1993:

"Following the Introduction of the Single Market in January 1993 the method of recording exports to the European Union changed and the figures separated by a bold line are not comparable with earlier years."
Which doesn't make me much wiser. Were they just recording exports better, or did something really change. Hang on. Wouldn't that be when the personal allowance went up from a couple of bottles to a vanload? Is all that UK beer being sent to France getting no further than Calais and then coming back again?

I know that the figures for Danish beer exports to Germany are distorted that way. That virtually none of the beer "exported" is consumed in Germany. It's bought by Danes who hop over the border to take advantage of the cheaper price of alcohol in Germany.

UK exports to the European Union 1985 - 1994 (thousands of barrels)
Destination 1985 1986 1987 1988 1989 1990 1991 1992 1993 1994
Belgium & Luxembourg 136.6 96.8 107.5 94.7 64.6 62.0 44.4 46.8 37.1 52.2
Cyprus 2.5 1.2 2.4 2.0 3.8 2.7 2.7 4.6 3.1 3.7
Denmark 0.6 0.2 0.7 0.2 0.4 0.5 0.7 3.7 2.6 66.4
France 10.8 8.9 8.3 9.7 14.2 15.6 15.2 17.8 22.1 196.6
Germany 24.6 19.3 22.6 24.5 26.4 29.1 28.7 31.2 17.3 19.1
Greece 0.3 0.2 0.7 3.0 5.8 14.5 12.6 13.7 10.9 9
Ireland 71 108 141 175.1 189.3 234.3 295.6 369.8 246.7 387.8
Italy 51.5 54.3 50.2 43.8 40.6 47.2 56.3 79.0 85.1 144.7
Netherlands 10.9 10.8 11.9 26.4 28.1 42.2 70.0 37.5 10.4 30.6
Portugal 0.7 1.9 4.4 2.9 2.0 3.5 2.6 2.7 1.3 1.8
Spain 4.1 6.9 9.9 14.0 19.1 46.5 38.2 52.3 65.8 104.8
Sweden 2 2.3 2.5 2.9 5.0 6.8 19.2 23.1 19.8 26.5
Total 311 307 357 394.4 390.6 495.4 564.4 654.5 499.3 1,045.1
"Statistical Handbook 1988", page 9.
BBPA Statistical Handbook 1995, page 9.
BBPA Statistical Handbook 1999, page 9.


Chap said...

I think you'll find that the UK's beer exports to Saudi Arabia in the late 70s and early 80s were Theakston's alcohol-free beer. I remember thinking at the time that it was ironic that the brewer of Old Peculier was also brewing no-alcohol beer. On checking, Michael Theakston's obituary - - confirms that he moved in to alcohol-free beer when he bought the state-owned Carlisle Brewery in 1974 and used the extra capacity to develop the brewery's exports.

StuartP said...

Things may have changed, but the filling station on the Copenhagen side of the Denmark - Sweden bridge used to sell beer by the crate-load, accepted Swedish currency, and had a steady trade with Volvo drivers.

qq said...

The implication is that the 1994 thing is a change in accounting treatment somehow. Obvious things that come to mind are either a change in how the data treats bulk beer packaged locally, or the treatment of beer sold "offshore" in eg cruise ships or airports.

The biggest percentage leap is to Denmark, which makes me think that it has to be related to either your mates at Carlsberg or something to do with their huge shipping industry. Might be worth looking at what happened at Carlsberg in 1994 - bit early for them buying S&N, was there some marketing tieup with a British brewer?

Chap said...

Here's a (light-hearted) thought. Guinness production at Park Royal came to an end in 2005. In 1990, Guinness's parent company Diageo began marketing the "Irish Pub Concept" around the world and continental Europe saw some 2,000 Irish pubs opened in Europe between 1992 and 1999. Now if all the Guinness was sourced from Park Royal (the logical source, given the logistics)....

Chap said...

qq - the change referred to is the result of the introduction of the Single Market in
January 1993. Customs formalities between the Member States had been the traditional source of trade statistics, but the Single Market did away with them. Data on intra-EU trade in goods is now collected via Intrastat, which applies different methodologies (for example, there are annual thresholds below which exporting and importing businesses are not required to file Intrastat returns, and these thresholds vary from country to country. The aim is to cover 97% of dispatches and 95% of arrivals, while Customs duties aim to cover 100%). There would thus be an effect on the strict comparability of data year to year (think of it as a one-off hiccough), which the statisticians will always footnote, but nothing statistically significant as far as long-term trends are concerned. - Nothing to do with packaging or duty-free sales, however.