Low Postwar Level of Domestic Sugar Stocks
Need for Long Continuation of Rationing
Less sugar has been available for consumption in the United States during 1946 than in any year of the war. The sugar shortage is less severe, over the nation as a whole, than the present shortage of meats, but it will be of longer duration. Sugar was the first food commodity to be rationed; it is the only one that now remains on the rationing list. The congressional grant of authority to ration foods expires on next March 31, but the experts say government control of sugar consumption must be continued, perhaps until the end of 1948.
The sugar shortage has been aggravated during recent weeks by the maritime strikes in the United States, which impeded deliveries from offshore sources of supply, and by the strike of sugar field and mill workers in Hawaii, which later may be extended to Cuba and Puerto Rico. These and other factors have brought a maldistribution of sugar stocks within the United States. Stocks are low in the east, with housewives in many Atlantic seaboard cities unable to redeem their ration stamps. In western beet-growing areas, on the other hand, the warehouses are bulging with sugar.
Consumers in Pacific Coast cities believe the country has a glut of sugar, instead of the shortage reported from Washington, and have called for an abandonment of rationing. But the Department of Agriculture points out that large stocks in some areas at certain seasons do not mean a national surplus of sugar on an annual basis. Present stocks in beet areas represent a full year's supply for most of the sections they serve.