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much lower than before the war. Our trade with North America also shows normally an excess of exports, attributable especially to the fact that we send more to Canada than we receive from that country. South America and Asia both send us a very much greater value of goods than we ship to those continents. The ratio of imports to exports in the case of each continent was lower in 1924 than in 1923.
Table 9.–Balance of Trade by Continents
Quarterly and Monthly Movements.
Table 10 shows by quarters our trade with the several continents. There is normally a marked seasonal variation in our export trade to Europe, and this is rather closely parallel with seasonal fluctuations in our exports of foodstuffs and crude materials. Exports of grain and of cotton are decidedly seasonal, and these make up a large share of our total exports to Europe, and also of our total exports of crude materials and of crude foodstuffs. Exports of other classes of commodities and consequently exports to the other continents shows little seasonal variation. Table 10.—Continent Distribution of Foreign Trade by Quarters
(Values in millions of dollars)
Figures for imports cover period July 1 to Sept. 21. See note to Table 14.
The sharp jump in total exports during the last quarter of 1924 was chiefly in foodstuffs and raw materials. Exports to Europe during that quarter were $869,000,000, larger than in any quarter since the last quarter of 1920; extraordinarily large quantities of wheat
Chart VI.—MONTHLY EXPORTS FROM AND IMPORTS INTO THE UNITED
STATES BY GRAND DIVISIONS AND ECONOMIC CLASSES
went to Europe at advancing prices, as well as very large quantities of cotton. The exports to the other three leading continents during the last quarter were somewhat greater than during any other quarter of the year, except that those to Asia were less than during the first quarter.
Seasonal variations in the imports from the several continents are
during the early months of the year on account of large receipts of sugar from Cuba. The imports from South America tend to be lower during the summer months because of reduced arrivals of coffee. Monthly variations in the imports from other continents are attributable less to seasonal than to cyclical and other causes. During the last quarter of 1924, owing chiefly to increased industrial activity in this country, the imports from all of the continents except North America and Oceania, were larger than during the other quarters
TRADE BY GREAT ECONOMIC CLASSES Comparisons of Recent Years.
A broad view of the economic character of our trade and its relation to our industrial production and our consumption is obtained from the statistics of exports and imports classified into great groups according to use and degree of manufacture. (Tables 11 and 12 and Charts VII and VIII.)
Table 11.–Foreign Trade of the United States by Economic Classes The classification of commodities into groups changes slightly from time to time as the number of com.
modities shown separately increases. In this table and in Tables 13 and 14 the figures for 1921, 1922, and 1923 are according to the 1923 grouping and are not strictly comparable with the 1910-1914 fiscal year average. The variation, however, is small.
Chart VII.DISTRIBUTION OF THE FOREIGN TRADE OF THE UNITED STATES
BY GREAT GROUPS
Table 12.—Increase or Decrease in Foreign Trade by Economic Classes
(Value in millions of dollars)
Change in domestic exports,
1924 compared with
Change in imports, 1924 com.
+2, 367 +111.1
+407 +10.0 +1, 922 +113.8 -182
-1.6 +328 +168. 6 -8
+7.5 +360+92.5 (1) +2.0
-10.7 +17.0 -1.5 -9.2 -2,8 +6.5
1 Less than $500,000 increase.
All of the five great classes shared in the increase in our export trade in 1924, as compared with 1923, with the exception of manufactured foodstuffs, which declined somewhat on account of reduced shipments of meats. The greatest ratio of increase, 52 per cent, was in crude foodstuffs, attributable chiefly to an increase of nearly 70 per cent
Chart VII.-PERCENTAGE DISTRIBUTON OF FOREIGN TRADE OF THE
UNITED STATES BY GREAT GROUPS
in exports of wheat (grain) in quantity and over 100 per cent in value. An increase of 10 per cent appears in crude materials, principally on account of the shipment of about one-fourth more cotton; tobacco also increased considerably, but exports of coal fell off. The very considerable increase in the exports of semimanufactures (articles partly finished and requiring further elaboration or articles subjected to very simple manufacturing processes only) appeared chiefly in copper, lead, and gas and fuel oil. Finished manufactures, which have in all years since the war constituted the largest group in our export trade, showed an increase of $110,000,000, or 8 per cent. This increase was chiefly in machinery, vehicles, (for the most part automobiles and parts thereof), and mineral oils; exports of iron and steel, textile manufactures, and chemicals remained practically stationary or declined.