Mexico Ready to Ship More Sugar to U.S. as Buyers Snub Beets

4/12/16 Bloomberg

Cut_sugarcaneMexico’s sugar chamber says the domestic industry has enough of the sweetener made from cane to ship to the U.S., as more American buyers shift away from supplies made from beets.

“The U.S. government is evaluating, and we are waiting” official supply estimates to see if the nation is “going to have bigger sugar requirements,” Juan Cortina, president of the chamber, said Monday in a telephone interview from Mexico City. U.S. industrial buyers are seeking more cane sugar because of fear of public backlash over genetically modified beets, used to make the bulk of domestically produced refined sweetener.

Prices for U.S. sugar made from cane have climbed 6.8 percent in 2016 as demand drops for the beet supplies. By contrast, world prices have slumped 5.6 percent. The U.S. Department of Agriculture will update its crop forecasts for production, imports and use on Tuesday.

While Mexico has no interest in renegotiating so-called suspension agreements signed in 2014 that set price limits and volume quotas, it has told U.S. authorities that it has between 300,000 and 500,000 metric tons of additional supply available should the country require it, Cortina said. The country is currently set to ship 1.2 million tons of sugar this season to the U.S. A Reuters report this month said that U.S. refiners were seeking to rework agreements settled in late 2014.

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