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The U.S. dollar-Brazilian real exchange rate is a key driver of changes in world raw sugar prices

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Brazil is the largest global producer and exporter of sugar and, over the long term, world sugar prices are closely linked to production costs in Brazil, as well as movements in the exchange rate between the U.S. dollar and the Brazilian real. Prior to 2003/4, the depreciation of the real against the dollar contributed to declines in Brazilian production costs when denominated in dollars. Since 2003/04, the real has appreciated against the dollar, leading to a 210-percent increase in dollar-denominated Brazilian production costs, while production costs in real terms rose just 64 percent. Rising dollar-denominated Brazilian production costs have contributed to the 316-percent increase in nominal world raw sugar prices from a 23-year low of 6.2 cents/lb in 2003/04 to 25.8 cents/lb in 2011/12. This chart appears in World Raw Sugar Prices: The Influence if Brazilian Costs of Production and World Surplus/Deficit Measures, SSS-M-297-01, released May 29, 2013.

Decline in U.S. honey production contributes to rising imports

Thursday, May 16, 2013

U.S. honey production dropped 1.3 million pounds, or 1 percent, to 147.1 million pounds in 2012, continuing a declining trend since 2000. Despite a 5.3-percent increase in honey-producing bee colonies in the United States last year, the national average yield per colony fell by 6 percent, with the major honey-producing States of California and Montana largely responsible for the yield and production declines. Diminished U.S. bee colony populations associated with colony collapse disorder are a key factor in declining U.S. production. With a smaller domestic harvest, the average producer price of honey climbed 10.5 percent to $1.95 per pound in 2012, while the average retail price of natural honey rose 7.8 percent to $5.55 per pound. Lower domestic output and lower prices for imported honey also have led to continued growth in honey imports, with imports growing nearly 8 percent and accounting for nearly 70 percent of domestic use in 2012. This chart appears in Sugar and Sweeteners Outlook: April 2013 (SSSM-296).

U.S. per capita consumption of added sweeteners is now trending downward

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Average U.S. per capita caloric consumption of added sweeteners, which maintained a significant upward trend in the 1980s and 1990s, has now sustained a significant downward trend since 1999. Calories derived from added sweeteners reached about 429 calories per capita—or 22 percent of average total caloric intake—in 1999, but fell to an estimated 379 calories—or about 15 percent of average total caloric intake—by 2010. Most of the decline has been associated with less consumption of carbonated beverages sweetened with high fructose corn syrup, along with increased consumption of unsweetened substitutes, including bottled water. This chart is adapted from a chart that appears in Sugar and Sweeteners Outlook, January 2013.

Most sugarcane in the United States is produced in Florida and Louisiana

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Sugar production in the United States comes from both sugarbeets and sugarcane. For 2012, the National Agricultural Statistics Service forecasts harvested sugarcane area at 891,000 acres, an increase of 2.1 percent over last year, and harvested sugarbeet area at 1.216 million acres, which is practically the same as last year. In the United States, sugarcane is produced in four States: Florida, Louisiana, Texas, and Hawaii. This chart shows sugarcane area forecasts by State for the last five crop seasons. Florida and Louisiana account for over 90 percent of the total sugarcane area with 2012 area forecasts of 410,000 acres and 420,000 acres, respectively. Relative to 2011, sugarcane area is forecast to increase by 13,000 acres (3.3 percent) in Florida and by 10,000 (2.4 percent) in Louisiana. This chart is an update of one found in the Sugar and Sweeteners Outlook, SSS-M-287, July 2012.

As U.S. honey production plunged, imports jumped sharply in 2011

Thursday, May 3, 2012

The U.S. honey crop was hampered by drought conditions in the South and heavy rainfall in many northern States in 2011. As a result, domestic honey production dropped 16 percent in 2011 from 2010 as the number of bee colonies fell 7.5 percent and yield per colony declined 9 percent. In total, domestic production fell by 28.1 million pounds of honey, despite record-high average prices received by honey producers in both 2010 and 2011. The drop in U.S. production, coupled with high domestic honey prices, increased honey imports to 288.3 million pounds in 2011, twice the amount imported a decade ago in 2001. The top three foreign suppliers of natural honey to the United States -- Argentina, Vietnam and India -- accounted for two-thirds of total U.S. imported honey in 2011. This chart is found in the April 2012 Sugar and Sweeteners Outlook, SSS-M-284.

Farm value of sugar rising faster than retail price

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

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.

U.S. sugarbeet yields projected down in 2011/12

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

As noted in an earlier Chart of Note, cold and wet weather and below-average growing conditions led to late planting, a later-than-usual harvest, and lowered FY 2011 beet sugar production. As evidenced by the successively lower yield forecasts, the desired higher additional crop production did not result from the later harvest. The chart gives a historical perspective to the FY 2012 beet sugar forecast, showing a downward trend in area harvested since 1999/00. Because of the difficult planting conditions in the spring, 2011/12 planted area increased above trend as additional area was planted late to compensate for expected lower yields. The figure also shows an upward trend in sugar per harvested acre since 1999/00. The sugar yield expected in 2011/12 is far below the historical trend. This chart is found in Sugar and Sweeteners Outlook, SSS-M-279, November 15, 2011.

U.S. sugarbeet yields-2011/12 bucks recent trend

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

National sugarbeet yield is forecast at 24.2 tons per acre. Although this yield forecast is close to the average national yield since 2000/01 of 24.1 tons per acre, it is far below yields since 2006/07. Better seed varieties, designed to minimize disease and pest losses, were responsible for enhanced yields starting in 2006/07. Annual yields since 2006/07 have averaged 26.4 tons per acre, compared with 22.1 tons for 2000/01-2005/06. Yields in the latter period were not only larger but also about 49 percent less variable. Most of the recent sugarbeet production reduction was centered in the Red River Valley producing States of Minnesota and North Dakota. Poor growing conditions for the entire season have hampered plant development and will cause the harvest season to begin later than originally expected. A late start increases the likelihood of hard freezes before the crop is fully harvested. This chart appears in the September 15, 2011 release of Sugar and Sweeteners Outlook, SSS-M-277.

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