The positive trade balance of the UK film industry has plunged between 1999 and 2000, dropping from $409m (£278m) to $107m (£73m) last year.

According to figures from government agency National Statistics, UK film exports fell by 20% - or $60.1m (£41m) to $899m (£612m) - between 1999 and 2000, while imports hit $241m (£164m). The 34% rise is the first increase since 1996.

UK-based subsidiaries of US studios also saw increased activity for the second year running. Both imports and exports of products and services in 2000 rose from 1999 - by 57% and 15% respectively.

Of the UK's film exports in 2000, 55% were to the US, up from 48% in 1999. Exports to Europe accounted for 25%.

In comparison, the UK television industry saw its net deficit reduced from $592m (£403m) to $273m (£186m) - the smallest since gap1995.

Figures covering both the UK film and television industries show that exports of products and services hit $2.34bn (£1.59bn) in 2000, a rise of nearly 12% on 1999. Total imports were $2.13bn (£1.45bn), an increase of only 1.3% on the previous year.