Troubles in India Cause Price Uncertainty

It’s safe to say that we’re all looking forward to leaving 2020 in the rearview mirror.

Some of the world’s largest sugar subsidizers decided to close out this year the best way they know how – by creating even more uncertainty in an already tumultuous global sugar market.

Troubles in India are contributing to wild swings in global sugar prices, demonstrating once again the importance of U.S. sugar policy that preserves America’s reliable and affordable supply of this essential ingredient.

India’s sugar exports have slid to a halt while the industry waits for the government to announce its export incentive policy. Last year, the country’s scheme covered a multitude of expenses, including marketing expenditures and transportation costs. This totaled an estimated whopping $875 million in subsidies, according to a recent USDA GAIN report. That’s only a portion of the $1.7 billion in direct and indirect government subsidies provided to Indian sugar interests that has put the nation in hot water at the World Trade Organization (WTO).

Other crops generally do not have to navigate such a wild rollercoaster of prices or blatant violations of trade rules.

Sugarcane and sugarbeet farmers don’t need to plan next year’s crop while trying to bet on market fluctuations that rise and fall based on the whims and pocketbooks of foreign subsidizers. Thankfully, America’s sugar farmers and workers have the stability of U.S. sugar policy.

Until foreign sugar subsidies and their devastating impact on our farmers and workers are a thing of the past, Congress must continue to protect America’s no-cost sugar policy.