HC Deb 24 May 1976 vol 912 cc55-7W
Mr. Michael Latham

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will publish in tabular form the average auction price for fat sheep in Great Britain over the last eight weeks showing lambs, shorn hoggets, unshorn hoggets and fat ewes, separately.

Mr. Bishop

The information requested set out below. Prices have been derived from the Meat and Livestock Commission's survey of representative markets in England and Wales and its Scottish Weekly Market Survey and relate to the latest eight-week period for which information is available.

Mr. Bishop

The information requested is set out below. The average auction prices from representative markets in Great Britain are calculated as part of the EEC price reporting system on a Wednesday to Tuesday week basis.

Mr. Bishop

Store cattle prices vary according to age, breed, sex and quality. But as examples, I have set out below the average market price, at representative markets in England and Wales for the last few weeks, of first quality 18 month beef stores and beef/dairy crossstores.

£ per head
Beef Breeds Beef-Dairy Cross
Week ending Steers Heifers Steers Heifers
14th April 1976. 192.46 180.41 192.45 177.71
21st April 1976 200.41 186.11 189.23 177.36
28th April 1976 204.08 189.57 197.03 179.77
5th May 1976 204.16 191.60 195.61 179.66
12th May 1976 215.15 194.17 201.69 182.12
19th May 1976 210.09 191.98 200.88 185.96

SourceMAFF Agricultural Market Reports.

The figures are part of a continued trend of strengthening store prices which reflects confidence of producers in the beef sector.

Mr. Michael Latham

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food whether he will outline the existing financial provisions by which he hopes to bring about the orderly marketing of fat cattle.

Mr. Bishop

In order to encourage producers to phase their marketings of fat cattle, particularly through the autumn and winter months, my right hon. Friend has already announced a scale of weekly target prices up to mid-March 1977 which is used for the calculating of beef premiums. This scale follows the usual seasonal pattern of market prices which normally increase between late autumn and the spring.

In addition, intervention support buying is available to underpin the market and the variable premium in order to achieve the target prices, especially if the market is weak in the autumn. These measures should give beef producers the confidence to plan ahead and phase the marketing of their animals.