HC Deb 18 April 1946 vol 421 cc491-2W
Sir W. Smithers

asked the Minister of Food the total production of gin in December, January and February last; what percentages went to the home and export markets, respectively, in each month; what was the f.o.b. price per bottle obtained by the producers for the latter; and have the respective percentages remained unchanged since then or been altered.

Sir B. Smith:

As regards the first part of the Question, I regret that statistics of gin production in the United Kingdom are not available but it is estimated that at present about 300,000 proof gallons per month are produced on average.

As regards the second part of the Question, the exports of gin, including relatively small quantities of other compounded spirits, during December, January and February last were 72,855, 51,547 and 39,021 proof gallons respectively. These figures include exports through N.A.A.F.I. for the Services overseas but no information is available as to the quantities so included. The balance of production is retained in this country for the home market, including home Services' requirements.

As regards the third part of the Question, the values f.o.b. of the exports in the months in question were £110,484, £84,190 and £55,278 respectively. The export strength of the spirit varies but on an appropriate average strength these values represent an average f.o.b. price of about 4s. per bottle.

As regards the final part of the Question, it has been arranged with the trade that supplies for the home market shall be maintained at the level obtaining during 1945 and that any surplus over this quantity which may be available owing to the reduced demands of the Services or through increased production, shall be exported. It is therefore anticipated that the percentage of total production represented by the home market will remain relatively constant, whilst that for export markets will increase.