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Copper Tubing

Volume 961: debated on Wednesday 24 January 1979

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asked the Secretary of State for Industry what representations he has received from the building industry and others about a developing shortage of copper tubing, especially 15 mm diameter; and if he will announce any measures to deal with the problem.

The Departments of Industry and the Environment have received many representations from the building industry about the shortage of copper tube for domestic use, and have been in close touch with the industry. Although supplies were reduced for a month towards the end of 1978 by a strike at one of the leading producers, United Kingdom manufacturers say that deliveries to the home market in 1978 were 13½ per cent. more than in 1977, a bigger increase than in the rate of installation. The manufacturers are now on full production and are delivering as much as they can to the home market. They will consider investment in new capacity, which could not affect the immediate problem, in the light of estimates of future market demand. I have written to the British Non-Ferrous Metals Federation asking it to consider if any further action is possible to increase domestic supplies.