§ Mr. Peter Mills
asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food why there has been no reduction in the retail price of beef in view of the reduction in the wholesale price by over 31d. per pound; and what consultations he has had with meat retail associations.
§ Mr. Hoy
Wholesale prices of beef rose towards the end of May due to delayed marketings of home-fed cattle following the late spring. Consequential increases in the retail prices of some cuts occurred two or three weeks later. More recently, while the wholesale market generally has remained firm, some wholesale prices have eased. Retail prices can be expected to reflect these changes, and there are already indications that this is happening. But the correlation between wholesale and retail prices is never immediate or exact, owing largely to the butchers' practice of averaging prices.
My Department has regular consultations with the meat trade associations