§ 13. Mr. Brewis
asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what estimate he has made of the course of potato prices for the remainder of the current season.
§ Mr. Anthony Stodart
I expect producer prices for maincrop potatoes to show their usual seasonal increases, helped by the success of the Potato Marketing Board's support buying programme. There will be some consequential increases in wholesale and retail prices, but they should remain well below last year's levels.
§ Mr. Brewis
Could my hon. Friend give an assurance that prices will be reasonable towards the end of the season in May, but that, at the same time, the early potato crop in June from Scottish areas will not mean dumped imports from abroad?
§ Mr. Stodart
On the first part of that Question, prices are expected to rise by some £10 a ton from their present level by the end of the season. But, as I have already said, retail prices should even then be below those of last year. On the second part of the question, it is a little early, when one does not know what sort of planting season we shall have apart from anything else, to forecast the position there.