The French merchant marine again is seeking to boost its share of seaborne trade between France and the Soviet Union.
According to industry sources, France wants to obtain 50 percent of the trade's liner shipments.Last February France renounced a 1967 Franco-Soviet shipping accord that called for the equitable sharing of cargo because the accord did not satisfy French maritime interests.
The two nations were unable to agree on what "equitable" meant in relation to trade and transport.
New terms were to have been detailed in mid-August. The deadline came and
went without a new formula, however, and both countries are working overtime to reach terms acceptable to both. A new deadline of Nov. 15 has been set.
The unfavorable position of French shipping in the trade is borne out by government figures showing that at the beginning of 1986 France accounted for only 8 percent of the cargo tonnage moving in the trade. The Soviet Union accounted for 70 percent and vessels of other countries 22 percent.
In terms of value, French ships carried 20 percent of the cargo, the U.S.S.R. 65 percent and third-flag vessels 15 percent.
In the important cereal grain sector, French vessels carried 17.5 percent of the cargo, the U.S.S.R. 62 percent and ships of other nations 20.5 percent.
In the petroleum sector, French tankers handled but 0.2 percent of the total, with the Soviets accounting for 77.8 percent and third-flag vessels 20.5 percent.
The French government also is unhappy about the amount of French trade shipped through non-French ports via Soviet and third-flag carriers. Antwerp is singled out as a major factor in these shipments.
Whether the French goal of obtaining a 50 percent share of the trade between the two countries is realistic is open to question, many industry observers agree. But it is also generally agreed that from the French standpoint, any accord reached would be better than none at all.