Farm value of sugar rising faster than retail price

A chart showing the retail price, farm value and farm share for refined white sugar, years 2000 to 2010.

Costs for transforming agricultural commodities into food products-transportation, processing, packaging, and other value-adding costs-can account for a substantial portion of the retail price. ERS compares prices paid by consumers with those received by farmers for many agricultural commodities to determine the farm share of the retail price. Over the last decade, the farm share of a pound of refined white sugar has varied from a low of 25 percent in 2007 to a high of 30 percent in 2010. Farm share changes from year-to-year partially reflect volatility in farm prices. The farm value of sugar rose from 13 cents to 19 cents per pound between 2007 and 2010, a larger percentage increase than the rise in retail sugar prices. More information on ERS's farm share data can be found in the Price Spreads from Farm to Consumer data set.

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