The Ambassador in Peru ( Pawley ) to the Secretary of State
[Received 8:02 p.m.]
426. ReDeptel 313, Apr. 8, 1 p.m.2 Current stock position wheat and flour combined 7,700 tons. This includes arrivals Peruvian ship Tumbes from Argentina with 5000 tons wheat Apr 7 and arrivals 14,500 bags flour from United States late March and early April. With consumption curtailment noted below requirements can be met to May 10. Absolutely essential 8,000 tons wheat being embarked from west coast United States ports arrive before May 10 to avert desperate crisis and provide minimum requirements to June 1.
January 1 stocks were 10,000 tons wheat 4, 150 tons flour. Arrivals from Jan 1 through April 8 were 20,614 tons wheat of which 3,000 tons from Canada 17,600 from Argentina. Flour arrivals include only 14,500 bags from United States. Total available supply Jan through April has been under 36,000 tons or three fourths normal supply.
Peruvian Govt has closed deal with Argentina for 7,000 tons wheat in exchange for 5,000 tons sugar. Peru lost $2 per quintal on the sugar. Peruvian ships Rimac and Tumbes will be available carry this wheat to arrive Arequipa and Callao late May or early June. With no mishaps minimum essential requirements will be covered through mid June. Additional purchases wheat Argentina complicated by Argentine’s insistence Peru furnish sugar, petroleum, coal and rubber at below market prices.
In response appeals for aid in food crisis I met this week with Minister Agriculture3 and other officials. Minister Agriculture reported [Page 1268] Peru increasing extraction rate to 82½ percent and reduced consumption flour in provinces to 20 percent normal and in Lima to 70 percent normal. Embassy is strongly urging other conservation measures and special efforts increase production substitute commodities including corn, sweet potatoes in Lima area.
In view present uncertainty Argentine negotiations I urge prompt allocation second cargo 8,000 tons United States wheat for Peru to arrive Callao by June 1.