In the past year the price of primary commodities has nearly doubled. The extent of the boom in 1973 is glaringly obvious from a survey of the major commodity indices:

The other leading indicators also show the explosive character of the boom:

A commodity-by-commodity examination confirms the basic accuracy of the indices; only aluminium, wolfram, nickel and mercury have not shown a sharp rise during the course of the last year:

The level of grain prices (shown in table iv) does not reflect the recent activity in the wheat market in Chicago and Kansas City, which left price levels above £55 per ton, but they indicate the rapid rise:

The prices of us and Canadian wheats have climbed throughout the 1972–3 crop season, the price of soya beans and oilcakes has doubled, while fishmeal (another major protein source) for the animal feed industry is virtually unobtainable after the failure of Peruvian production. The worldwide shortage of protein is reflected in the oilseed and vegetable oil prices shown in table v: