HC Deb 27 May 1976 vol 912 c349W
Mr. Skeet

asked the Secretary of State for Trade how copper prices have faired during the past year; to what extent the United Kingdom has suffered through the continued depreciation of sterling; and if he will give similar information for zinc and tin.

Mr. Meacher

The market prices of copper and tin on 19th May were respectively 50 per cent. and 51 per cent. higher than 12 months earlier. Both these commodities are quoted in the United Kingdom market in sterling. It is very difficult to estimate the effect of sterling depreciation on the United Kingdom market price, since this has indirect as well as direct effects on price levels. However, the increases in the prices of copper and tin over the last 12 months converted to a dollar basis at the prevailing exchange rates were about 18 per cent. and 19 per cent. respectively. The producers' price of zinc, at which the bulk of world zinc is traded, was quoted in sterling until the beginning of this year, since when it has been quoted in US dollars; therefore no consistent price series can be compared over the last 12 months. However, if prices are converted at the prevailing exchange rate the sterling price has risen by 22 per cent. over this period; in dollar terms the price has fallen by 4 per cent.

Forward to