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Variable Import Levy (Wheat)

Volume 165: debated on Friday 19 January 1990

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To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food why the EEC variable import levy for wheat is more than 100 per cent. in excess of the gap between EEC and world prices; and if he will make it his policy to seek a substantial reduction in the forthcoming common agricultural policy price negotiations.

The variable import levy for wheat is calculated by the Commission of the European Communities by deducting from the threshold price the lowest known world price, adjusted to take account of quality and the cost of delivery to Rotterdam. The import levy is therefore always greater than the difference between the threshold price and quoted world prices, except in the case of the lowest known world price.In considering the Commission's proposals for the 1990 CAP price negotiations, I will take account of the possibility of reducing the wheat threshold price.