HC Deb 14 July 1958 vol 591 cc66-7W
Mr. Hurd

54, 55 and 56. asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (1) the average retail prices of potatoes in October, 1957, and April, 1958, and the quantities of home-grown potatoes marketed in each month;

(2) the average retail prices for home-produced eggs in November, 1957, and April, 1958, and the quantities despatched by packing stations in each month;

(3) what evidence he has of changes in the quantities of food consumed related to seasonal prices changes affecting especially potatoes and eggs.

Mr. Godber

Such information as is available to me on retail prices and the quantities of eggs packed and potatoes marketed in the months to which my hon. Friend refers is contained in the statement below. Owing however to time lags and stock changes these quantities do not correspond with consumption in the periods stated. Some quarterly statistics of consumption of foodstuffs including potatoes and eggs as recorded by the National Food Survey and published in the Monthly Digest, are also available, but these cannot be closely related to seasonal changes in prices, which may vary considerably within quarters.

Following is the statement:

Hen eggs packed at packing stations in the United Kingdom on which subsidy was paid: November, 1957 (4 weeks) 1,516,760 boxes (of 360 eggs) April, 1958 (5 weeks) 2,189,773 boxes (of 360 eggs)

Information from trade sources on representative retail prices per dozen of graded hen eggs:

Large Standard
November, 1957 5s. 6d. to 5s. 9d. 4s. 0d. to 4s. 9d.
April, 1958 3s. 6d. to 4s. 3d. 3s. 3d. to 4s. 0d.

The quantity of ware potatoes from the Great Britain crop marketed through merchants in October, 1957, was 373,000 tons and in April, 1958, 235,000 tons.

Representative retail prices obtained for Great Britain from the Potato Marketing Board and Ministry officers:

October, 1957 per lb. April, 1958 per lb.
Red varieties 3d. to 4d. 5d. to 6d.
White varieties 2½d. to 3½d. 4d. to 5½d.

Imports of ware potatoes in October, 1957, were negligible, and in April, 1958, were about 101,000 tons.