Agriculture in the European Union -
Statistical and economic information 2001
Currency units used
1. European Monetary System (EMS) -
Entry into force of the EMS on 13 March
1979 (Regulations (EEC) No 3180/78 and No 3181/78 of 18 December 1978)
brought in the ecu as sole unit of account for the Community. Its
definition is identical to that of its predecessor the EUA except for
a review clause allowing changes in its composition. The ecu is a
currency unit of the 'asket' type made up of specified amounts of
currencies of the EMS member countries determined mainly on the basis
of the economic size of each. It is defined by Council Regulation (EC)
No 3320/94. The central rates used in this system are rates set by the
central banks around which the market rates of the EMS currencies may
fluctuate within spot margins.
2. The ecu in the common
- Before 9 April 1979, the unit of
account used in the agricultural sector was the u.a. defined by
Regulation (EEC) No 129/62 and the representative rates (green
rates) were fixed by the Council.
- On 9 April, the ecu began to be used
in the CAP [Regulation (EEC) No 652/79] and is still being used
[Regulation (EEC) No 3813/92].
- On the changeover from the u.a. to
the ecu on 9 April 1979 common agricultural prices and amounts
expressed in u.a. and converted into ecus were adjusted by the
coefficient 1,208953. The green rates were however adjusted by the
reciprocal coefficient 1/1,208953, leaving national price levels
unchanged. For example, 100 u.a. × 3,40 = DEM 340 because ECU
121 × 2,81 = DEM 340.
- For the recording of world market
prices, offer prices are converted at the representative market
rate, which is an average of the rates recorded on the market. The
common agricultural prices and amounts are set in ecus and converted
into national currency at the agricultural conversion rates.
- Since 1 January 1993 these have been
adjusted by the Commission whenever their divergence from
representative market rates exceeds specified margins.
- Between the beginning of the 1984/85
marketing year and 31 January 1995 all conversion rates used for
agriculture were multiplied by a correcting factor under the
'switchover' mechanism the effect of which was to express the common
agricultural prices and amounts in a unit of account derived from
the ecu, the 'green ecu'. This correcting factor, originally
1,033651, was increased in line with the revaluation of the EMS
currency appreciating most among those observing all the rules. On
abolition it was 1,207509. As on the changeover from the u.a. to the
ecu in 1979 common agricultural prices and amounts were increased in
ecus by a factor of 1,207509 on 1 February 1995 and all conversion
rates used in agriculture reduced by a factor of 1/1,207509 so
making the operation neutral in national currency terms.
3. Introduction of the euro
On 1 January 1999, the currencies of
the 11 Member States adopting the single currency were replaced by the
euro but, during the transitional period until the end of 2001, units
of national currency will continue to be used as subdivision of the
euro. Series in ecus have been left unchanged as far as the past is
concerned but are expressed in euros from 1 January 1999. Series in
euro are the statistical continuation of series in ecus.
Fixed conversion rates of
The conversion rates irrevocably fixed
between the euro and the currencies of the Member States adopting the
According to context, different
currency units have been used in this publication. The statistical
series in terms of value are also calculated:
- at constant exchange rates, i.e. at
the exchange rates obtaining during a specific period (e.g. 1980).
These rates are used to eliminate the influences of exchange-rate
changes on a time series;
- at current exchange rates (notably
for external trade).
To assist the user of this publication
wishing to convert units of account into national currencies and
conversely, Table 1.01 gives the rates to be used. Fuller
information is given in specialized publications of the European
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