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I hear on our Canadian new broadcasts that Mexico has shipped a mega load of sugar into the US halving the sugar prices in the US. US sugar producers are pissed, and want to close the boarder...

Whats the scoop ?
 

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All imports are controlled. And tariffs applied. So I doubt that the sugar price will be halved or even influenced much. Retailing merchandise is more complicated than a simple cause and effect like the one being asked about.
 

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That article is probably right on the mark. When sugar prices were peaking and lots of cheap sugar was sitting south of the border, it's not too much of a reach to believe that some of it made its way north. You can plug lots of different time frames into the link I provided to see how sugar prices have fluctuated. We, in the honey business, should be glad honey prices haven't followed suit.
 

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Sugar hasn't had a bad trend line if you look at the 1o year trend using Ian's link. A halving of the price from the peak hurts. Down always hurts. But still looks like a great overall trend. No idea is sugar was profitable in 2004 though.

Jim it is surprising that honey hasn't fulled a bit, it often does. May honey is finally seen as healthy sweetener and not as dependent on other sweetener prices.
 

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There was a thread about a bit of news in general section some time back, that got me looking into sugar in some detail. The original post linked to a news article claiming Mann Lake had purchased a million pounds of sugar in the 7 cent range.

After digging into it some, the best I could make out of the whole system is that it works something like this. Refiners can get short term government loans to purchase the short shelf life product (beets and cane) from the farmers, and back those loans with the sugar inventory it will produce. This is an attempt to stabilize the price to the farmer. In turn, the refiners will sell the refined product on open market, with the option to repay the loan using cash, or sugar inventory at a fixed price. When market prices are below that level, the refiners call up and say 'come and get it'.

When that happens, the inventory is disposed of thru auction, with the caveat, it's removed from the human food chain.

I may have mis-understood some of the details, but that's essentially the mechanism in use to subsidize price stability for the cane and beet farmers. On the round last year, loans were paid with sugar in kind, if memory serves, price to the refiner was something like 17 cents, then the branch of the beaurocracy that deals with surplus auctioned it off, and that's how Mann Lake ended up with a million pounds of sugar for 7 cents. There was a significant price difference between the inventory in the northeast vs that in the south (Louisiana ), the stuff in one area auctioned at the 7 cent level, the other area around the 3 cent level. My take was, the difference would be the cost of getting train cars to move it.

I wish I had kept the links now, it was an interesting hunt / read to figure it all out, but, enlightening. Sugar prices south of 49 are very controlled, at the raw cane / beets level.

As an aside, a couple years ago there was apparently a shortage, and the quarterly reports from Rogers Sugar here in Canada were stating that due to an opportunity to gain a one time increase in quota for shipping to the USA, they had a very good year. Kind of suggests to me, the whole sugar market in the USA is controlled by quota.

And just to keep this on the subject of bees, here is an interesting side note for folks. If you think the canola flows with 200+ pounds per hive are good, I've heard rumors of a couple back yard beekeepers in vancouver that regularly pull 500+ off of a couple back yard hives. Apparently they live within a half mile or so of the Rogers Sugar refinery.
 
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