Sugar Shortage

February 24, 1942

Report Outline
Consumer Rationing of Suger Supply
Operation of the Sugar Quota System
Measures for Relief of Sugar Shortage
Special Focus

Consumer Rationing of Suger Supply

War Restrictions on Domestic Consumption

War ration book No. 1, first to be issued in the history of the United States, will control purchases of sugar by household consumers after the middle of March. Under the rationing system, each individual will be entitled to receive 12 ounces of sugar a week. Use of sugar by industrial consumers has already been limited to 80 per cent of the amounts they consumed in 1941 and will be further limited after family rationing goes into effect.

The reasons for sugar rationing are fairly well known to the American people. The large supply heretofore received from the Philippines has been completely cut off by Japanese occupation of the Islands. It has been estimated that the supply from Hawaii will be reduced almost one-half by the interference of military activities with normal operation of the sugar industry. Considerable amounts of sugar that would otherwise be available for domestic consumption must be used to meet the military and civilian requirements of other nations engaged in war against the Axis. Taking these and other factors into account, the Office of Price Administration has estimated that supply in 1942 will be about one-third lower than the amount available in 1941.

The 400,000-ton reduction in the amount of sugar to be received from Hawaii is a rough estimate. It assumes that the 1942 crop will decline about 250,000 tons and that a large number of ships carrying military supplies to Hawaii and the southwest Pacific will return to the United States in ballast. The three to four days needed to load a cargo of sugar is equivalent to a voyage half way from Hawaii to San Francisco. The 390,000 tons given for hoarded sugar is likewise a rough estimate. Senator Brown (D., Mich.) said in the Senate, February 18, that sugar in hiding might amount to as much as 750,000 tons. Submarine sinkings in both the Atlantic and Pacific may reduce the amounts to be received from offshore areas, although only one sugar boat, the steamer Brazos bringing 4,000 tons of sugar from Puerto Rico, has been reported sunk to date. Reports that consideration is at present being given to a reduction of the sugar ration from 12 to 8 ounces a week because of submarine activity in the Caribbean are believed to be premature.

ISSUE TRACKER for Related Reports
Sugar Industry
Nov. 30, 2012  Sugar Controversies
Oct. 18, 1985  Sugar
Aug. 07, 1963  Sugar Prices and Supplies
Oct. 02, 1946  Sugar Supply
Feb. 24, 1942  Sugar Shortage
Nov. 24, 1939  Protection of the Sugar Industry
Mar. 12, 1934  Stabilization of the Sugar Industry
Sep. 06, 1932  The Future of the Sugar Tariff
Apr. 17, 1929  The Tariff on Sugar
Aug. 04, 1924  Sugar and the Tariff
Farm Produce and Commodities