Sugar

Oral Answers to Questions — Agriculture, Fisheries and Food – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 13th July 1964.

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Photo of Mr Stephen Davies Mr Stephen Davies , Merthyr Tydfil 12:00 am, 13th July 1964

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will give the home trade prices per hundredweight of sugar charged by the Sugar Board from May 1963 to the latest available date, and the surcharges or repayments imposed on or made to trade users of sugar in that period.

Photo of Mr James Scott-Hopkins Mr James Scott-Hopkins , North Cornwall

The Sugar Board sells raw sugar f.a.s. in the country of origin, mainly to refiners, at a price related to the daily c.i.f. price quoted by the London Terminal Sugar Market Association. The latter price is published in the major newspapers. As there have been many changes in the rates of surcharge or distribution payment since 1st May, 1963, I will, with permission, circulate a list in the OFFICIAL REPORT.

The following is the list:

Operative DateSurcharge per 1b. refined sugarDistribution Payment per 1b. refined sugar
d.d.
10th April, 1963NilNil
30th May, 19636
5th July, 19633
16th August, 19631
6th September, 1963¼
15th October, 1963
24th October, 19633
31st October, 1963
8th November, 19635
28th November, 1963
17th December, 19633
21st January, 1964
11th February, 19642
6th March, 19641
13th March, 1964½
27th May, 1964NilNil
29th May, 1964½
2nd June, 1964
5th June, 19642

Photo of Mr Stephen Davies Mr Stephen Davies , Merthyr Tydfil

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he is aware of the adverse effect on the trade and employment of large-scale trade users of sugar caused by frequent and wide variations in the price of sugar; and what action he will take to remedy this situation.

Photo of Mr James Scott-Hopkins Mr James Scott-Hopkins , North Cornwall

Since 1st January this year the ex-refinery price of sugar in Britain has varied between 64s. 3d. per cwt. and 88s. per cwt. This is far less than the variations in the world price of sugar. I do not believe that the variations have had substantial adverse effects on large-scale users of sugar. We are however in consultation with trade associations about the operation of the Sugar Act and we are seeking to reduce the range of variations in the price of sugar.

Photo of Mr Stephen Davies Mr Stephen Davies , Merthyr Tydfil

The Minister is aware that there have been frightful variations, most disturbing variations, in the price of sugar. The figures have shown that. Is it not possible for some pressure to be brought to bear on the Sugar Board so that a more consistent price is agreed upon or established for the trade users in this country?

Photo of Mr James Scott-Hopkins Mr James Scott-Hopkins , North Cornwall

As the hon. Member knows, there have been very wide fluctuations in the world price of sugar. The variation in price in this country has been a great deal less than the variation in the world price, thanks to the operation of the Sugar Act and the Sugar Board.