HC Deb 20 December 1973 vol 866 cc352-3W
21. Mr. Wingfield Digby

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what evidence he has from international sources that the price of wheat is falling.

Mr. Anthony Stodart

Estimates published by the International Wheat Council since July 1973 have shown a progressive improvement in supplies. The latest forecast of 24th November is that export availabilities may slightly exceed demands from importing countries. This should have caused some easing of prices, had the international oil problem not intervened.

29. Mr. Guy Barnett

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food whether, in view of the present level of wheat feeding stuff prices, he will instruct the Intervention Board forthwith to cease denaturing wheat and holding grain stocks off the market, and to sell its grain stocks in order to keep prices down.

Mr. Anthony Stodart

No. The board neither denatures wheat nor holds stocks. The premia paid by the board help both to keep down the price of feed wheat and to encourage the release of stocks.

39. Mr. English

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food how much has been spent by the Intervention Board in the present year on payments for the denaturing of grain and other food in the United Kingdom.

Mr. Anthony Stodart

By 30th November 1973 the Intervention Board for Agricultural Produce had paid out £17,358,000 on denaturing incentives, mainly for the denaturing of wheat.