The Department of State to the Mexican Embassy


The memorandum of March 30, 194642 submitted by the Mexican Embassy to the Department of State brought up matters relating to wheat import requirements which have since been the subject of discussions between representatives of the Embassy and supply officials of the United States Government. It is hoped in this connection that the following summary of wheat and flour shipments during the present crop year will be found helpful.

The effort being made by the Cereals Committee of the Combined Food Board to reduce universally import requirements of wheat to a minimum is dictated by the inescapable fact that available export supplies of this important commodity in the first half of 1946 are sufficient to cover only 60 percent of stated world import requirements.43 The consequent drastic reductions in consumption in many of the United Nations where bread makes up from one-half to two-thirds of the entire calorie intake has resulted in the total consumption for the average non-farm consumer falling to less than 1,900 calories daily and in the case of some very considerably less. Further drastic reductions now appear inescapable for such countries in the critical months immediately ahead.

The Department of State has investigated the facts relating to amounts of wheat already sent from this country to Mexico during the present crop year and the quantities which, in view of the present great world deficit, it is felt could be shipped additionally in the remaining quarter year. Figures drawn up by the Department of Agriculture show that wheat and wheat flour sent from the United States to Mexico in the half year July through December totalled 198,284 long tons wheat equivalent (178,936 tons of wheat and 19,348 tons of flour wheat equivalent). During the first quarter of 1946 the record shows 63.240 tons wheat equivalent. Six thousand tons are also reported to have been shipped from Canada to Mexico in that period, making a total of 69,000 for the first quarter. Thus a total of 267,524 tons were provided during three quarters of the crop year [Page 1054] against a requirement for the whole year of about 425,000 tons. If the state requirement for this three-quarter year period be considered to be three-fourths of the annual requirement, or 320,000 tons, it will be seen that this requirement was met to the extent of 83 percent. It is therefore clear that the fullest consideration has been accorded the needs of Mexico in the light of the world deficit described above.

The Department of State can now report that the United States will provide 1,000,000 bushels of wheat (about 27,800 tons) and 500,000 bushels of corn (about 13,900 tons) for Mexico in the month of May.

  1. Not printed.
  2. For information on the contribution of the United States in meeting food needs of Latin American countries and other parts of the world, see Department of State Bulletin, 1946 and 1947, index listings under “Wheat”.