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Agriculture in the European Union - Statistical and economic information 2000

Observations on statistical method

A – Statistics on external trade - explanatory note

Council Regulation (EEC) No 1736/75, of 24 June 1975, on the external trade statistics of the Community and statistics of trade between Member States, includes provisions to ensure that data are not recorded twice:

  • when goods from a non-member country are first brought into a Member State, that Member State must record the import according to the origin of the goods;
  • if the goods are then subject to a legal operation (for example clearance for consumption) and subsequently imported into another Member State, the latter must record the goods according to the Member State from which they were received.

However, to satisfy national requirements, the Member States may, if they wish, operate in parallel with the above system the arrangements they applied previously; this means that a Member State's national data may be sub-stantially different from the data supplied by Community sources.

For the calculation of the intra-Community trade of the Community as a whole in the supply balances, there were two possibilities: the sum of the Member States' intra-Community exports (calculation on the basis of goods leaving) or the sum of the Member States' intra-Community imports (calculation on the basis of entries). Eurostat has chosen the second alternative. Also, exports to non-member countries in the supply balances of the Community as a whole are calculated by deducting intra-Community trade from Member States' total exports.

As a result, there may be discrepancies between the external trade data given in the supply balances and those given in the specific external trade tables.

Users must also allow for a break in the series of Community external trade statistics in 1977, the date on which Regulation (EEC) No 1736/75 entered into force.

A last point is that, while the data relating to the external trade of the Community of Twelve from reference year 1985 use the same source for all the Member States (Community statistics), those which refer to a previous period may have been obtained from the Community statistics for the Community of Ten and from other sources for the new Member States.

B – Definition of Agricultural Products for External Trade Statistics

Agricultural products are defined as follows:

Chapters 1 - 24 of the Combined Nomenclature excluding fish and fish products:
- chapter 03 fish and crustaceans, molluscs and other aquatic invertebrates
- 0511 91 90 products of fish and crustaceans,…
- 1604 prepared fish; caviar, and caviar substitutes prepared from fish eggs
- 1605 prepared crustaceans, molluscs, and other aquatic invertebrates
- 1902 20 10 stuffed pasta, containing 20% fish, crustaceans,…
- 2301 20 flours, meals and pellets of fish or crustaceans,…
adding the following products outside the Chapters 1 to 24. ("Other products covered by the Uruguay Round Agreement"):
- 2905 43 mannitol
- 2905 44 D-glucitol (sorbitol)
- 2905 45 glycerol
- 3301 essential oils
- ex 33 02 10 preps containing flavouring agents for beverages
- 3301 to 3305 albuminoidal substances, modified starches, glues
- 3809 10 finishing agents
- 3823 11 stearic acid
- 3823 12 oleic acid
- 3823 13 tall oil fatty acids
- 3823 19 other
- 3823 70 industrial fatty acids
- 3824 60 sorbitol n.e.p.
- 4101 to 4103 hides and skins
- 4301 raw furskins
- 5001 to 5003 raw silk and silk waste
- 5101 to 5103 wool and animal hair
- 5201 to 5203 raw cotton, waste and carded or combed cotton
- 5301 raw flax
- 5302 raw hemp

C – Economic Accounts for Agriculture (EAA): implementation of a new methodology

  1. The Economic Accounts for Agriculture are drawn up according to a new methodology, which was published in the "Manual on Economic Accounts for Agriculture and Forestry EAA/EAF (Rev. 1.1)" (EUROSTAT, 2000, ISBN 92-828-2996-0).

  2. The introduction of the new methodology has resulted in a number of changes in the data, as a result both of the change in the methodology itself and of the use of new data sources. Some of the changes have had a direct impact on value added and thus on the measurement of agricultural incomes, whereas others have altered only the level of certain aggregates without, however, affecting value added and the measures of agricultural income.

  3. The following methodological revisions affecting the measures of agricultural income can be noted:

    1. The recording of secondary, non-agricultural activities of agricultural units where these activities cannot be separated from the main agricultural activity. This mainly concerns the processing of agricultural products and agri-tourism.

    2. The exclusion of the output of units producing solely for own-final consumption (e.g. kitchen gardens).

    3. The exclusion of upstream and downstream production activity involved in seed multiplication.

    4. The recording of the output of wine and olive oil (from grapes and olives produced on the holding).

    5. The recording of various operations according to the principle of rights and obligations, meaning that the amounts are recorded during the year in which the claim or obligation, in the economic sense of the term, is created, transformed or removed. For example, the value of subsidies recorded in the accounts for year n corresponds to aid granted in year n even if all or part of the payment takes place in year n+1 or at a later date.

    6. The reclassification of certain agricultural aid which used to be classed as "operating subsidies" and which will now be recorded as "capital transfers". The value of this aid will no longer enter into the calculation of income

  4. Revisions which have had no impact on the measurement of income (all things being equal) concern:

  1. The valuation of output at basic prices. The basic price is defined as the price received by the producer, after deduction of all taxes on products but including all subsidies on products.

  2. The abandonment of the concept of national farm: besides production sold, stocked or for own-consumption by agricultural units, the production of the agricultural industry will now include a part of output used as intermediate consumption by the same unit (for example, grain or forage used in animal feed).

D – Annual rate of change (% TAV)

  1. The annual rate of change (symbol: % TAV) is used throughout this report for the calculation over periods of time of changes in a given aggregate. It measures the compound annual average increase or reduction, as a percentage, of the variable concerned from a base year (T in the following equations).

  2. The annual rate of change is calculated as follows:

    100 × Anti-Log [ Log ( statistics for year T + N
    statistics for year T
    ) : N ] - 100 = % TAV

    Where the annual rate of change is calculated over only two successive years, N = 1 and the formula becomes:

    100 ×[ statistics for year T + 1
    statistics for year T
    ] - 100 = % TAV

  3. The following series illustrates the use of this formula:

    1970 1971 ... 1975 1976
    Series = 100 000 112 000 161 051 177 156
    % TAV 12,0 10,0 10,0


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