§ Mr. Gwynfor Evans
asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food how many tons of beef there are now in store in the EEC countries; and what is his assessment of the total tonnage which will be in store in three months' time.
§ Mr. Bishop
Statistics of intervention stocks in EEC countries other than the United Kingdom are kept not by my Department but by the European Commission. According to the latest information received from the Commission, the total stocks of beef held by intervention agencies in mid-April were approximately 266,000 metric tons.
The level of stocks in three months' time will depend both on the relative attractiveness of intervention compared with the fresh meat market between now and then, and on the quantities sold for store. Stocks have recently declined because of substantial sales but it is not possible to make a reliable forecast of future levels in view of the uncertainties involved.