WASHINGTON (Jan. 6)
The effect of the war in the Mediterranean trade area has brought the growth of the Palestine citrus canning and by-products industry to a dead stop, the Agriculture Department reported today.
Sharp curtailment of commercial shipping in the Mediterranean has reduced exports drastically and considerable difficulty has been experienced in obtaining tin and other materials for the processing industry. Unofficial sources estimate that canning and by product industries now account for about 10,000 tons of oranges and other citrus fruits. By-products are put up in bottles and jars, although some canning takes place.
Trade sources indicate existing plant facilities are not being utilized at a maximum and a considerable increase in production could be handled without plant expansion. It is considered unlikely, however, that the industry will be able to expand as long as hostilities continue. It is considered that the industry will be lucky to be able to hold up its present production rate.
Also affected adversely by the war is the considerably smaller vegetable processing industry, which is confined largely to olives, cucumbers, tomato juice and canned peas.