• Nineteen seventy was a remarkably favourable year for world trade as a whole and a good one for Commonwealth trade as well. Commonwealth exports rose by £2,800 million f.o.b. to record a rate of growth only a little less than the exceptional 14 per cent advance of world exports. Even after allowing for the rise in prices on account of inflation, world trade in real terms advanced by about 9 per cent—well up to the average of recent years.

  • The three main components oF intra-Commonwealth trade are the exports of Commonwealth countries to Britain, the imports of British goods by these same countries, and the cross trade of Commonwealth countries other than Britain with one another. Table 2 illustrates the growing importance of the last mentioned component. As regards the first two of these segments, which still account for some two thirds of the total of intra-Commonwealth trade, the decline in the share of Britain in world production and trade leads to the general supposition, which is borne out in fact, of a smaller proportion of exports from other Commonwealth countries finding a market in the United Kingdom, and of Britain being able to supply only a smaller proportion of their total import requirements.

  • The year 1969–70 was again one of boom for Australian exports and production, although the domestic scene was marred to some extent by growing inflationary problems. Despite drought, low wool prices and the marketing problems which affected most rural products, the strong growth in exports continued so that an all time record was reached. Even with difficulties in regard to wool and the constraints of marketing problems on the wheat side, the value of rural production in 1969–70 was estimated to have been only 4 per cent less than the record total of 1968–69.