§ Mr. Parkinson
asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will make a statement about lamb prices.
§ Mr. Godber
Since early November, auction prices for sheep have risen by about 4½p per lb. This is due partly to seasonal factors, partly to the demand for other meat, and in part to purchases for export to the Continent. There has been a much smaller increase in the price of imports of frozen lamb. Retail prices of fresh lamb also have increased but not to the full extent of the increase in auction prices. Adequate supplies of New Zealand lamb are available.
At a meeting yesterday between my officials and all sectors of the meat trades, the current situation was fully examined, aid it was concluded that price increases were being contained as much as possible, in the light of the supply situation. I shall, of course, continue to keep the situation under review.