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Volume 467: debated on Tuesday 12 July 1949

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73 and 74.

asked the Minister of Supply (1) the present stocks of copper; the average cost; the total amount yet to be taken delivery of on forward contract purchases; and when the contracts terminate;(2) the average price paid for copper already in this country; the average price of the copper yet to be taken delivery of; and today's world prices.

The Ministry of Supply's stocks of virgin copper, including stocks abroad and afloat, amounted to approximately 170,000 tons on 30th June, 1949. It is estimated that a further 150,000 tons will be delivered under our present commitments which extend to the end of 1949, but which are not all covered by contracts with definite terminal dates. Owing to the large number of separate transactions and to other factors, such as charges for refining blister and rough copper and scrap, an average price would have no significance, but the greater part of the copper already delivered was bought at a price related to the New York export price of £130 12s. 5d. a ton. Some of the copper yet to be delivered was bought at a price related to this price and some at prices related to the lower prices prevailing since 29th March, 1949. Prices for the remainder have yet to be fixed. The present New York export price is £97 19s. 4d. a ton f.a.s.