Luther Markwart focused on “take home” messages in his summary remarks toward the conclusion of this year’s American Sugarbeet Growers Association annual meeting. “What do we tell our growers? What do we do as leaders of this industry?” ASGA’s longtime executive vice president asked the local and regional grower association leaders in attendance.
Rising production costs and growing ethanol use in Brazil,
combined with policy-induced production swings across Asian countries,
are the main sources of higher and more-volatile sugar prices.
By Michael McConnell, Erik Dohlman & Stephen Haley*
World sugar prices soared to a 29-year high of nearly 30 cents a pound in early 2010 before falling back to half that level by early summer.** Still, they remain 50% higher than average over the past 20 years. Was this price spike a temporary oscillation caused by a supply shock, or does it reflect a more permanent fundamental shift in global market dynamics?