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CONTACT: Phillip Hayes, 202-507-8303
From the International Sweetener Symposium:
STOWE, Vt. — Sugar is the world’s most distorted commodity market and increased government involvement is fueling inefficiency, according to a new video released today by the American Sugar Alliance (ASA).
Specifically, ASA discussed the subsidy run-up currently underway by the world’s biggest sugar producers: Brazil and India.
“Brazil is no stranger to sugar subsidies,” the video explained. “Using $2.5 billion a year worth of government involvement, the country has achieved an OPEC like stranglehold on the world market.” On top of that, Brazil recently added new preferential loans, ethanol industry bailouts, and direct subsidies.
Not to be outdone, India also created new subsidies, ASA continued. In addition to government price control, tariffs, and export mandates, India has added “direct subsidies to boost exports, a doubling of import duties, and new sugar ethanol blending requirements to expand domestic sugar use.”
ASA explained that the result has been “a complete annihilation of free trade” and a “new market environment [that] is creating a sinking tide that’s flushing everyone down the drain.”
Global sugar production costs hit 27 cents a pound in 2013, up sharply from 15 cents in 2002.
Phillip Hayes, ASA’s spokesman, said the current environment necessitates a U.S. sugar policy.
“We are highly efficient, but even U.S. technology and modernization is no match for the price distortions caused by a market awash in subsidized surplus,” he said.
“American producers are also promoting a common-sense solution to foster a freer global market,” the video concluded. “Called the zero-for-zero sugar policy, it is a global subsidy cease-fire where the best, most efficient business people – not the most subsidized – would succeed.”
This was the second ASA video released at the 31st International Sweetener Symposium. The first of which can be seen here.