Prices for brewing adjuncts will depend on demands for grain by the U.S.S.R., China and the lesser developed countries (LDC), on world weather patterns and on U.S. agricultural policy. Assuming normal weather, man made factors affecting grain markets are reviewed. In developed countries, for the last 20 years, world food output has paralleled population increases, but the latter have now outstripped food output in LDC. Although food production per capita has increased to the greatest extent in the U.S.S.R., Eastern Europe and Western Europe, increases in the U.S. were slowed by acreage restrictions in the 1950's and 1960's and by adverse weather in 1970 and 1974. In Canada, increases were limited by agricultural policy and by weather. Growth in food production in developed countries was due largely to increased yields, whereas that in LDC was small, despite greater areas sown to grain and their production shortfall was made up by substantial imports. Under the PL-480 programme, the U.S. exported burdensome grain, but shipments declined in 1973 and 1974 when prices were high. World grain stocks declined from 1969/70 to 1974/75, largely because of U.S. policy in restricting acreage and, despite world inflation and massive grain purchases by the U.S.S.R. and China, production restrictions were not removed in almost all grain producing countries, including the U.S., until 1974. Recent turbulent grain prices are therefore attributed to (a) the decision of the U.S.S.R. to import massive supplies to meet their 1972 harvest shortfall, (b) worldwide inflation caused by reduced food supplies, increased demand and by the higher petroleum prices fixed in 1973 and (c) 1975 production shortfalls in U.S. and Canada. After considering future demand, supply and U.S. productive capacity, it is concluded that (a) if the growth rates of population and food production continue, food import deficits for the developing countries will increase and major increases in food production and decreased rates of population growth will be necessary; (b) the large potential for increased agricultural productivity must be developed; and (c) the free market system must be preserved.
Keywords: cereal food production survey