HC Deb 28 April 1966 vol 727 cc44-5W
Mr. Rowland

asked the President of the Board of Trade what estimate has been made of the additional cost to Great Britain of the rise in the price of Zambian copper.

Mr. Mason

The Zambian copper companies have announced that they will sell their copper at the London Metal Exchange prices for three months forward delivery. The cost of this change to our import bill therefore depends upon the Exchange prices. On the basis of current prices the additional cost of imports of copper from Zambia in 1966 would be about £17 million. Our total import bill for copper will depend also upon action which may be taken by other producers. But the increase in the cost of copper previously bought at lower producer prices will be partially offset by savings in the cost of copper normally imported at Exchange prices because these prices have fallen as a result of the change in the policy of the Zambian companies.