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Volume 938: debated on Thursday 10 November 1977

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asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food why there is an import duty of £37 a tonne on North American hard wheats for United Kingdom bread making, when similar wheat is not produced in the EEC.

All imports of wheat from outside the EEC are subject to a variable levy to raise their price to the level of the threshold price. The main purpose of the levy is to maintain prices on the internal Community market at a level which will ensure an adequate return for the Community producer and provide a stable market within the Community for producers and consumers. Although there are quality differences between Community and North American strong wheat, the latter is competitive with EEC-produced soft wheat in so far as it can replace Community wheat in milling or breadmaking.