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The statistics put together by ATG from raw data supplied by HM Customs and Excise, give comparisons with October 2007, showing close to a 15 per cent rise in exports and 74 per cent rise in imports to and from non-EU countries within Europe and the USA.

The ongoing strength of the pound against the dollar – before its later dramatic fall – could well explain the year-on-year decline in exports of art and antiques to the USA.

The 11.4% rise in imports of pictures from the USA could also be influenced by exchange rates, while the huge growth in imports of pictures is almost entirely through Switzerland, showing its ongoing importance as an entrepot state.

At full table of the Import/Export figures appears in this week’s printed newspaper. To subcribe, click here.