§ 28. Mr. Marlow
asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what has been the variable cost of cereal growing for each of the last three years; how it is made up by its various components; what has been the average receipt to the United Kingdom farmer; and how this compares in percentage terms with the average world market price.
§ Mr. MacGregor
The variable costs of growing cereals generally comprise the following elements in order of importance: fertilisers, sprays, seed,. contract and miscellaneous costs. Their level and relative importance depend on farming conditions and practices. Annual average figures are not available.
United Kingdom farmers receipts, expressed as ex-farm prices for wheat and barley, for the past three years are as follows:
£/tonne (forecast) 1981 1982 1983 Wheat 108.92 114.04 125.19 Barley 100.45 108.35 116.83
Source: Annual Review of Agriculture 1984
Their percentage relationship with world prices subject to the substantial reservation below, is as follows:
£/tonne 1981 1982 1983 Wheat 127 139 130 Barley 123 143 133
The lowest offer prices at Community ports which underlie the Commission's calculation of variable import levies have been used in the above comparison. They are the lowest prices recorded and it is highly likely that higher prices would apply on average for the purchase of regular large quantities.