Yesterday, the United States Department Agriculture (USDA) notified the Department of Commerce of an additional need for sugar in the U.S. market of 200,000 short tons raw value (STRV) of refine sugar. Consequently, Commerce has increased the quantity of Mexican refined sugar permitted to be exported by 200,000 STRV for the October 1, 2019 through September 30, 2020 period. Commerce previously increased Mexico’s refined sugar export limit by 100,000 STRV, also at the request of USDA, on November 25, 2019. In the same way as the November request, today’s increase in Mexico’s refined sugar export limit will only change the mix between refined and other sugar.
The notification follows a letter that was constructed by eight US Senators who encouraged the USDA and the U.S. Trade Representative to take further action to ensure an adequate supply of refined sugar was available for delivery to the food and beverage manufacturers across the U.S. The Senators cited United Sugar Corporation declaring force majeure along with Western Sugar notifying buyers that the firm would be unable to deliver 15 percent of its sales for the current marketing year. US Senator Pat Toomey (R-PA) held the first signature on the bipartisan letter which also included signatures from Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Margaret Wood Hassan (D-NH), Robert P. Casey Jr. (D-PA), Ron Johnson (R-WI), Robert Menendez (D-NJ), Rob Portman (R-OH) and Mark R. Warner (D-VA).
USDA added in their statement, the current market conditions point to a sugar shortage. This action is a further step in ensuring an adequate supply of sugar to the U.S. market, given the terms of the U.S. sugar program and the Agreement Suspending the Countervailing Duty Investigation on Sugar from Mexico. USDA will continue to monitor the market to assess whether supplies are adequate.
Northern Ag Network – 2020