Sugar and Sweeteners
Outlook (January, May, and September) gives an update of
current market and policy developments and their impacts on the
sugar and corn sweetener industries.
World Sugar and
High Fructose Syrup Production Costs: 2000/01-2009/10
(April 2011, page 13 of PDF) examines
yearly trends in production and processing costs for various
categories of raw cane sugar, beet sugar, and high fructose corn
syrup (HFCS) producers--distinguishing between low- and high-cost
groupings, different geographical regions, and major exporters
other than Brazil. The analysis includes separate treatments of
both field and factory costs.
Competitiveness in Brazil: Costs of Production and World Sugar
(March 2011, page 9 of PDF) examines
whether world sugar prices over time mirror changes in costs of
production of the largest sugar producers and traders. An important
consideration is whether changes in exchange rates, especially
between the Brazil real and U.S. dollar, can influence the
effect of changing costs on world prices.
Projections through Fiscal Year 2021
(February 2011, page 10
of PDF) examines longrun projections for sugar supply
and use in the United States and Mexico. The primary factor for the
U.S. sugar economy is a reliance on sugar imports from Mexico to
maintain balance in the U.S. sugar market. With yearly U.S. sugar
ending year stocks-to-use ratios set at 13.5 percent, there are no
sugar loan forfeitures and there are no Commodity Credit
Corporation (CCC) purchases of sugar for ethanol. However, assuming
higher investment in the Mexican sugar industry and/or increased
use of HFCS in Mexico introduces a heightened likelihood of CCC
Costs in the United States and Mexico (January 2011, page 8 of PDF)
Drawing on LMC International's cost of production sugar database,
the Sugar and Sweetener Team of the Economic Research Service
examines costs of sugar production in the North American Free Trade
Agreement (NAFTA) area--cane sugar in the United States and Mexico
and beet sugar in the United States--for the period 2000/01 through
2009/10. NAFTA production costs are also compared with
corresponding world production costs.
World Sugar Price Volatility Intensified by Market
and Policy Factors
(September 2010) examines key factors affecting the world sugar
market in 2009 and the first half of 2010. Rising pressure on sugar
prices was intensified by supply disruptions in 2009, driving
prices to double the long-term average. Higher production costs and
growing ethanol use in Brazil set the stage for higher prices, but
policy-induced production swings among Asian countries are the main
source of price volatility. Although U.S. sugar prices are
influenced by world prices, domestic sugar policy continues to
drive U.S. sugar price movements.
Sector Cycles Down, Poised to Rebound (April 2010) A cyclical
decline in sugar production is shifting India, the world's second
largest producer, from net exporter to net importer during 2009/10
and contributing to the recent runup in global sugar prices, but
production is poised to rebound in 2010/11. The recent swings
in Indian sugar production are primarily due to a policy-induced
cycle that has become increasingly pronounced.
Mexican Sugar and HFCS Long-Term Projections
through Fiscal Year 2021
(February 2010, page 8 of PDF)
examines the contribution of possible developments in the Mexican
sugar sector to long-term projections made by the U.S. Department
of Agriculture for the U.S. sugar and HFCS sectors. Specific
analysis rests on the assumption that the United States will
increasingly rely on Mexico to cover U.S. sweetener import
Expected To Sustain High U.S. Sugar Prices into 2009/10
(October 2009, page 28 of PDF)
evaluates factors that have contributed to rising domestic and
international sugar prices. U.S. prices have increased roughly 40
percent since 2008, largely because of recent domestic production
shortfalls and rising demand for sugar in place of HFCS. Domestic
sugar stocks reached a 33-year low relative to consumption in
2008/09, and supplies are expected to shrink further in 2009/10 as
imports recede from the near-record levels of 2008/09.
Colombia: A New
Ethanol Producer on the Rise? (January 2009) examines
Colombia's sugarcane-based ethanol industry. After operating for
only 3 years, the industry is the second most developed in the
Western Hemisphere. Colombia's sugarcane-based ethanol production
is increasing; proposed expansion projects have the potential to
more than triple daily production from 277,000 gallons in 2007 to
almost 1 million gallons in 2010.
The EU Sugar Policy
Regime and Implications of Reform (July 2008) examines European
Union's sugar policy, which underwent its first major reform in
2005 in response to mounting and unsustainable imbalances in supply
and demand. The reform targeted only a few policy instruments
(intervention price cut, voluntary production quota buyout, and
restrictions on nonquota sugar exports), while leaving other key
policies unchanged (interstate quota trading, sugar-substitute
competition, and import barriers). A model-based analysis suggests
that--because of the oligopolistic nature of the EU sugar
market--the initial reforms, by themselves, are unlikely to reduce
Market Boosts Sugar Ethanol Industry in Latin America
(May 2008, page 41 of PDF) reports that several countries in Latin
America, besides Brazil, have policies and programs to expand
production of liquid biofuels from biomass in the coming decades.
This article analyzes developments that aim to reduce dependence on
imported transportation fuels and to reduce poverty by engaging
farmers in growing ethanol-producing crops.
(May 2008, page 22 of PDF) analyzes the sugar industries of leading
sugar-producing countries in the Western Hemisphere. This article
highlights recent developments and trends in production,
consumption, trade, and policy in Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, the
Dominican Republic, Guatemala, Jamaica, and Peru.
Processor Production Forecast Accuracy
(January 2008, page 37 of PDF) analyzes forecasts from processors
for U.S. sugar beet and sugarcane production before and after
implementation of the 2002 Farm Act. Accurate forecasts are needed
to administer marketing allotments, which are part of the price
support program for sugar. Have processors become more accurate in
their forecasts? Has there been a tendency to overestimate or
underestimate production since 2002?
Backgrounder (July 2007) addresses key domestic and
international market and policy developments that have affected the
U.S. sugar sector in recent years. It provides descriptions and
analyses of farm-level production of U.S. sugar crops, cane and
beet sugar processing and refining industries, sugar imports and
exports, and sugar consumption.
Ethanol Demand Driving the Expansion of Brazil's
(June 2007) assesses the recent expansion of Brazil's sugar and
ethanol industries due to rising crude oil prices, expanding global
development of renewable energy, and growing domestic demand for
ethanol. Because ethanol in Brazil is made from sugarcane, sugar
industry developments are now increasingly linked to policy
initiatives in ethanol markets.
(May 2006) reviews sweetener issues in Mexico through spring of
2006. It presents data and analysis on issues of production, trade,
consumption, and policy for both sugar and HFCS.
USDA's Sugar Program Response in FY 2005 to
(May 2006) examines how USDA responded to the disabling of cane
refineries in Louisiana as a result of Hurricane Katrina and the
poor early sugar beet harvest in the Red River Valley in the Upper
Midwest. According to the analysis, USDA actions allowed for the
entry of an additional 560,054 tons of sugar into the market but,
because of a variety of factors, only 384,725 tons actually
(January 2006) assesses recent changes in European Union (EU) sugar
policy, which will be implemented in July 2006 and which include a
price reduction of 36 percent to be phased in by the 2009/10
marketing year. Analysis shows a reduction in EU sugar production
and a virtual elimination of EU sugar exports, with a resulting
increase in the world price of sugar.
Consumption in the United States: Distribution by Demographic and
Product Characteristics (August 2005) reports findings for
sweetener consumption by income and demographic characteristics.
Among the conclusions: per capita sweetener consumption is highest
in the Midwest and lowest in the Northeast, and sweetener
consumption tends to rise with increased income up to a certain
level and then fall.
U.S. Sugar in the FTAA (March 2004) uses the USDA sugar
projections baseline model to analyze the effects of several market
access options. As part of this analysis, this chapter in U.S. Agriculture and the Free Trade Area of the
Americas (FTAA) examines the cost structures of Western
Hemisphere sugar-producing sectors and the ability of those
countries to supply the U.S. market.
Characteristics and Production Costs of U.S.
Sugarbeet Farms (November 2004) summarizes production and
financial information related to the 2000 sugar beet crop. Sugar
beet production and costs varied considerably across farms and
regions in the United States both on a per-acre and a per-ton
basis, according to a USDA survey of farmers in 2000.
Measuring the Effect of Imports of
Sugar-Containing Products on U.S. Sugar Deliveries (September
2003) analyzes the effects of imports of sugar-containing products
on the level of sugar deliveries to U.S. industrial end users of
Program-Induced Behavior Affects the
(May 2003) analyzes how U.S. sugar marketing allotments affected
firms' incentives to transfer ownership of sugar prior to the onset
of marketing allotments in October 2002 and how that behavior
affected the sugar supply and use reported in USDA's World
Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates report.
World Sugar Policy Review
(January 2003) provides summaries of sugar policy regimes in select
sugar-producing and exporting countries.
Sweetener Policies in Japan (September 2002)
supplies a detailed description and analysis of Japan's policies to
support its sugar producers and to regulate sweetener markets.
Domestic policies include price floors for cane and beet farmers;
subsidies to sugar refiners to compensate for the high cost of
domestic sugarcane and sugar beets; and quantity limits on the
production of HFCS.
U.S. Sugar Policy Under the 2002 Farm Act
(September 2002) (scroll down to middle of page 1) gives a concise
profile of the new sugar title of the Farm Security and Rural
Investment Act of 2002.
Imports of Certain Sugar Syrups Rise Dramatically
in the 1990s
(January 2001) projects that sugar syrups described under
Harmonized Tariff Code 1702.90.4000, which enter the United States
outside the sugar tariff-rate quota (TRQ) and at relatively low
duties, could add as much as 125,000 tons in fiscal 2001 to a
swollen U.S. sugar supply.
Weak Prices Test U.S. Sugar Policy
(September 2000) finds that domestic sugar production and imports
are exceeding domestic consumption, making it difficult to keep
prices above support levels without policy tradeoffs.
Returns from Mexican Sugar Processing: Measuring
the Contribution of Capacity Usage, Technological Adaption, and
(May 2000) examines the profitability of the Mexican
sugar-processing sector and its ability to adjust to price
incentives and technology in the expanded North American sugar
Conceptual Overview of the U.S. Sugar Baseline:
Incorporating the Effects of the North American Free Trade
Agreement (January 2000) finds that the United States will
be importing more sugar from Mexico over the next decade, largely
because of NAFTA.
U.S.-Mexico Sweetener Trade Mired in Dispute
(September 1999) reviews disputes between the two countries over
sugar and sweetener issues and highlights the potential
consequences to the U.S. sugar industry of increased imports.
Early Season USDA Projections of Sugar
(May 1999) examines methods used in the early projection period by
the USDA Interagency Commodity Estimates Committee (ICEC) to
forecast U.S. sugar production.
"Implications of NAFTA Duty Reductions for the U.S. Sugar
Market" in February 1999 Sugar and Sweetener Outlook
(text only) offers an analysis of Mexican sugar support policies
and the Mexican sugar industry as Mexico and the United States move
toward integrated sugar markets in 2008.
The Rise and Decline of Puerto Rico's Sugar
(December 1998) analyzes the Puerto Rico's shift from being a raw
sugar supplier to the United States to importing sugar to meet
Auctioning Tariff Quotas for U.S. Sugar
(May 1998) analyzes the current U.S. raw cane sugar TRQ allocations
to 40 countries and discusses an auctioning system for the sugar
U.S. and World Sugar and HFCS Production Costs,
(May 1998) reports on yearly trends in costs of sugar production
for groups of major sugar exporters.
Origin of the U.S. Sugar Import Tariff-Rate Quota
(September 1997) describes the beginnings of the TRQ system for
administering U.S. sugar imports and gives data on how individual
country quota shares are determined.
The Central American Sugar Industry
(December 1996) discusses the economic importance of the sugar
industry to Central American countries.
Sugar: Background for 1995 Farm Legislation
(April 1995) and Sugar: Background for 1990 Farm Legislation
(February 1990) provide historical analysis of U.S. sugar and
sweetener production, processing, consumption, trade, and
A History of Sugar Marketing Through 1974
(March 1978) describes and analyzes the U.S. system of regulating
production, import, and marketing of sugar from Colonial times to
the demise of the Sugar Act in 1974.
U.S. Department of Agriculture
Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) provides data on
sugarcane and sugar beet yields, acreage, production, and prices by
State and nationally, as well as other commodity-specific
- Quick Stats. Searchable database containing
information on crop yields, acreage, production, and prices at the
State and national levels.
- Statistics by State. Links to State sites for
information on crop progress; on State plantings, production, and
yields; and on county estimates.
- Census of Agriculture. A complete count of U.S.
farms and ranches, the Census looks at land use and ownership,
operator characteristics, production practices, income and
expenditures, and many other items.
Farm Service Agency offers extensive
information on sugar and other commodity programs and on sugar
Agricultural Service supplies information on world sugar supply
and use, as well as program operation information for the sugar
TRQs and re-export programs.
World Agricultural Outlook Board provides data
on U.S. sugar supply and use.
National Agricultural Library, National
Agricultural Library Digital Repository (NALDR) offers online
browsing of historical ERS Agricultural Economic Reports
and Agriculture Information Bulletins.
Other U.S. Government
Office of the
U.S. Trade Representative publishes the allocation of sugar
TRQs by country and gives information about U.S. trade agreements
and dispute settlement cases.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection provides
announcements to importers about the administration and status of
the sugar TRQs.
Accounting Office publishes reports about the operations and
effectiveness of the U.S. sugar program.