HC Deb 13 July 1964 vol 698 cc820-2
15. Mr. S. O. Davies

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will give the home trade prices per hundredweight of sugar charged by the Sugar Board from May 1963 to the latest available date, and the surcharges or repayments imposed on or made to trade users of sugar in that period.

Mr. Scott-Hopkins

The Sugar Board sells raw sugar f.a.s. in the country of origin, mainly to refiners, at a price related to the daily c.i.f. price quoted by the London Terminal Sugar Market Association. The latter price is published in the major newspapers. As there have been many changes in the rates of surcharge or distribution payment since 1st May, 1963, I will, with permission, circulate a list in the OFFICIAL REPORT.

The following is the list:

Operative Date Surcharge per 1b. refined sugar Distribution Payment per 1b. refined sugar
d. d.
10th April, 1963 Nil Nil
30th May, 1963 6
5th July, 1963 3
16th August, 1963 1
6th September, 1963 ¼
15th October, 1963
24th October, 1963 3
31st October, 1963
8th November, 1963 5
28th November, 1963
17th December, 1963 3
21st January, 1964
11th February, 1964 2
6th March, 1964 1
13th March, 1964 ½
27th May, 1964 Nil Nil
29th May, 1964 ½
2nd June, 1964
5th June, 1964 2

16. Mr. S. O. Davies

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he is aware of the adverse effect on the trade and employment of large-scale trade users of sugar caused by frequent and wide variations in the price of sugar; and what action he will take to remedy this situation.

Mr. Scott-Hopkins

Since 1st January this year the ex-refinery price of sugar in Britain has varied between 64s. 3d. per cwt. and 88s. per cwt. This is far less than the variations in the world price of sugar. I do not believe that the variations have had substantial adverse effects on large-scale users of sugar. We are however in consultation with trade associations about the operation of the Sugar Act and we are seeking to reduce the range of variations in the price of sugar.

Mr. Davies

The Minister is aware that there have been frightful variations, most disturbing variations, in the price of sugar. The figures have shown that. Is it not possible for some pressure to be brought to bear on the Sugar Board so that a more consistent price is agreed upon or established for the trade users in this country?

Mr. Scott-Hopkins

As the hon. Member knows, there have been very wide fluctuations in the world price of sugar. The variation in price in this country has been a great deal less than the variation in the world price, thanks to the operation of the Sugar Act and the Sugar Board.