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Food Prices

Volume 889: debated on Monday 24 March 1975

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asked the Secretary of State for Prices and Consumer Protection what recent information she has obtained on movements in the world price of foodstuffs imported by Great Britain, and if it is still the case that prices of foodstuffs imported from the EEC are marginally cheaper than foodstuffs imported from the rest of the world, disregarding the effect on prices of levies charged in consequence of Great Britain's membership of the EEC.

I would refer the hon. Member to the tables published in the Official Report by my hon. Friend the Minister of State for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food on 23rd January—[Vol. 884, c. 1728–30.—and 13th March—[Vol. 888, c. 205–6]—These import prices should be distinguished from the retail food prices referred to in my replies to the hon. Member for Flint. West (Sir A. Meyer) on 10th February—[Vol. 886, c. 8–9.]—and to the hon. Member for Derbyshire, South-East (Mr. Rost) on 17th March—[Vol. 888, c. 1125–7.]

asked the Secretary of State for Prices and Consumer Protection by what percentage world food prices and EEC food prices, respectively, have increased or decreased since October 1974.

Some indication of the overall movement of world food prices is provided by the Index of Export Prices of Primary Producers (Food) published by the National Institute of Economic and Social Research in its Economic Review. I understand that between October 1974 and February 1975 this Index fell by 5½ per cent. Comparable information for the EEC as a whole is not available.