Sosland: United States, Mexico draft sweet agreement

The governments of the United States and Mexico drafted an historic sugar trade agreement Oct. 27 in an effort to avoid potential U.S. import duties of more than 50% and the possibility of an escalating trade war. If ratified, it likely will be the biggest news in the sugar market since Jan. 1, 2008, when the North American Free Trade Agreement opened the door to unrestricted trade of sweeteners between the two countries.

But this time the intent is to control sugar exports from Mexico that in the past couple of years have been record high, contributing to lower U.S. sugar prices and loan forfeitures in 2013. If successful, the result also may be reining in sugar cane production in Mexico that has been increasing since 2008, in part because Mexico basically saw the United States as an “easy” market to sell surplus sugar. (more)

Sosland: I.T.C finds injury in sugar dumping case

WASHINGTON — The U.S. International Trade Commission on May 9 made a preliminary determination of injury and will proceed with antidumping and countervailing duty investigations of U.S. imports of sugar from Mexico. The preliminary determination follows a decision by the U.S. Department of Commerce to initiate the case on April 18. U.S. sugar producers petitioned the I.T.C. and the D.O.C. on March 28 claiming subsidized Mexican sugar was being dumped in the U.S. market at a cost of about $1 billion to U.S. sugar producers in the current marketing year.

“Given the low threshold for determining injury in the U.S. I.T.C.’s preliminary determination, we are not surprised by today’s ruling,” the Sweetener Users Association said following the May 9 decision. “The vote simply allows the investigation to continue. However, while U.S. sugar producers had the right to file the petition under U.S. law and the U.S. I.T.C. has at this early stage made a preliminary determination of injury, it should not be assumed that the case has merit. To the contrary, we expect that the U.S. sugar producers will lose when the U.S. I.T.C. is able to complete the full investigation.”  (more…)

Food Availability of glucose and fat, but not fructose, increased in the US between 1970 and 2009

Conclusions: These data suggest that total fructose availability in the US did not increase between 1970 and 2009 and, thus, was unlikely to have been a unique causal factor in the increased obesity prevalence. We conclude that increased total energy intake, due to increased availability of foods providing glucose (primarily as starch in grains) and fat, to be a significant contributor to increased obesity in the US.

Food availability of glucose and fat, but not fructose, increased in the US between 1970 and 2009 

Golden Growers total payout hits milestone

MOORHEAD, Minn. — As of February 2013, cash distributions for owners of Golden Growers Cooperative, a high-fructose corn sweetener plant in Wahpeton, N.D., surpassed the $3.45 per unit that farmers originally invested to build the plant in 1995.

At the Golden Growers annual meeting in Moorhead, Minn., on March 21, co-op officials reported earnings per share increased to 36 cents last year, up from 34 cents per share in 2011. Equity has declined to $42.7 million from $46.6 million, but that’s by design.

Fargo-based Golden Growers is a 49 percent owner of ProGold LLC with American Crystal Sugar Co. of Moorhead. Fifteen years ago, the two companies leased the plant to Cargill, which now processes about 30 million bushels of corn into corn fructose at the location. About half of the corn comes from Golden Growers members.

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