North America's dramatic emergence over the past generation as the world's principal supplier of food can be illustrated with a half dozen numbers. During the late 1930s, three of the world's seven major geographic regions supplied virtually all of the grain moving into the world market. Latin America, with exports of nine million metric tons yearly, was the leading food exporter, and grain exports were an important source of foreign exchange earnings. North America and Eastern Europe (including the Soviet Union) were each exporting five million tons yearly. Most of the grain exported from these three regions, principally wheat and corn, went to Western Europe.