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Steel Products (Prices)

Volume 974: debated on Monday 26 November 1979

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asked the Secretary of State for Industry what has been the increase in United Kingdom export prices of steel products relative to imports since 1974; and by how much labour productivity would have to be increased to enable the United Kingdom industry to reduce its relative prices to the 1974 level, all other factors being equal.

Since 1974 the export unit value index for iron and steel products has increased by 90 per cent. compared with an increase of 70 per cent. in the import unit value index. To reduce relative prices to the 1974 level, export prices would need to fall by 11 per cent.The increase in labour productivity required to enable the price of United Kingdom steel products to fall by 11 per cent. is about 60 per cent. If, however, home prices remained unchanged, a rise of only 10 per cent. in labour productivity would enable export prices to be reduced by 11 per cent.