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U.S. TOBACCO INDUSTRY SHOWS TRADE SURPLUS OF $2.0 BILLION FOR THE FIRST HALF OF 1992

 U.S. TOBACCO INDUSTRY SHOWS TRADE SURPLUS OF
 $2.0 BILLION FOR THE FIRST HALF OF 1992
 PRINCETON, N.J., Sept. 29 /PRNewswire/ -- The United States tobacco industry closed the first half of 1992 with a trade surplus of over $2 billion, as total exports of $2.7 billion exceeded total imports of $700 million, according to the Tobacco Merchants Association (TMA).
 At this level of economic contribution, the tobacco industry still ranks seventh overall, in the context of all American industry, even though the total surplus decreased $690.6 million, or 25.2 percent, when compared with the first half of 1991. "The lower trade surplus contribution was due both to a decrease in the value and quantity of tobacco product exports, specifically cigarettes, as well as an increase in the value of total tobacco product imports," said Farrell Delman, president of TMA.
 "The U.S. tobacco industry's six-month positive trade balance contribution is an extreme contrast to the nation's overall merchandise trade deficit for the January to June period of nearly $28.7 billion," Delman said.
 Because of competition from abroad, U.S. cigarette exports of over 82.1 billion cigarettes, in the first half of 1992, valued at almost $1.7 billion, were down nearly 6.7 percent in quantity and 28.4 percent in value when compared to the first six months of 1991. The value of all tobacco products exported during the six-month period was also down 27 percent to $1.85 billion.
 Through the first six months of 1992, leading countries of destination for U.S. cigarettes included: Japan (32.7 percent of total); Belgium (23.4 percent); Hong Kong (9.6 percent); Saudi Arabia (4.7 percent); United Arab Emirates (3.7 percent); Turkey (3.3 percent); South Korea (2.2 percent); and Singapore (2.0 percent). "These eight destinations, none of which are classified as developing or less- developed countries, accounted for over 81.6 percent of all cigarette export shipments for this period," commented Delman.
 Imports of tobacco products during the first six months of 1992 totaled $122.4 million, an increase of 93.2 percent or $78.3 million, when compared to the same period of 1991. Cigarette imports also increased 39.1 percent as 2.67 billion cigarettes, worth over $115.8 million, were imported into the United States. Through June 1992, imports from Canada accounted for 74.7 percent of the total volume and 84.1 percent of the total value of cigarette imports. "High taxation in Canada has played a significant role, as Canadian consumer demand in the U.S. apparently continues to increase," said Delman.
 At $361.0 million, the positive trade contribution from the leaf tobacco sector was up 24.3 percent, or $70.5 million, when compared with the first half of 1991. Exports of leaf tobacco in the first half of 1992 were up 10.5 percent to 141.6 million kilograms, worth $907.1 million, up 11.9 percent. Imports of leaf tobacco were up 12.3 percent in the first six months of 1992 to 156.8 million kilograms, worth $546.1 million, up 5.0 percent when compared with the same period last year.
 As with cigarette purchases, Japan was the largest buyer of U.S. leaf tobacco during the first half of 1992 with shipments of 42.7 million kilograms, valued at $250.5 million, up 46.3 percent and 39.4 percent, respectively, when compared with the same period of 1991. For the first half of 1992, the leading countries of destination for U.S. leaf tobacco were: Japan (30.1 percent of total); Germany (13.5 percent); the Netherlands (9.6 percent); Turkey (7.6 percent); Thailand (4.0 percent); Spain (3.8 percent); the United Kingdom (3.5 percent); Belgium (3.3 percent); Italy (3.2 percent); and South Korea (3.2 percent). These 10 destinations accounted for almost 81.8 percent of all U.S. leaf exports during this period.
 Founded in 1915, the TMA is the oldest tobacco trade association supported by companies and organizations in all sectors of the tobacco industry including farm groups, manufacturers, suppliers, leaf dealers, tobacco product distributors, securities firms, and management consultants. The TMA is the foremost source for current economic and other published facts on the worldwide tobacco industry.
 /delval/
 -0- 9/29/92
 /CONTACT: Michael Marion of the Tobacco Merchants Association of the U.S., 609-275-4900/ CO: Tobacco Merchants Association of the U.S., Inc. ST: IN: TOB SU: ECO


JS -- PH016 -- 4328 09/29/92 11:02 EDT
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Date:Sep 29, 1992
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