The American Bakers Association (ABA) addressed a letter to the US Department of Agriculture and the Department of Commerce to allow an additional 100,000 short tons of refined sugar from Mexico to be imported to the U.S. Following the request, the Sweetener Users Association announced they also support the import.
In a letter directed to USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue, ABA outlined the crucial need for a consistent source of refined sugar for production and market demand following abysmal sugar beet and sugar cane crop yields in the U.S.
According to USDA’s latest World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates Report from November 8, U.S. sugar production is expected to be 572,000 short tons, raw value (STRV) lower than previously expected due to recent and continuing adverse weather conditions in sugar-producing regions.
Because U.S. sugar policy is based on a tightly controlled import market bound by tariff-rate quotas (TRQ), ABA urged Secretary Perdue to utilize his authority and flexibility and move forward with upward adjustments to the import quotas for sugar to account for this decreased domestic production.
“As one of the top sugar using industries, increasing the sugar TRQ allotment is critical to the wholesale baking industry, specifically bakers. Large, and especially smaller family bakers, need immediate access to refined sugar. They do not have the ability to freely seek out alternative suppliers abroad,” said Lee Sanders, ABA’s Senior Vice President of Government Relations and Public Affairs.
ABA is confirming the amount of sugar will be adequate for the industry’s needs while the USDA continues to monitor the market to assess whether sugar supplies are sufficient.
After the announcement made by ABA, the Sweetener Users Association (SUA) has also issued a statement in support of the announcement by the U.S. Department of Commerce.
“SUA commends both the USDA and Commerce for today’s action. Bolstering the supply of refined sugar in the United States will help support U.S. food and beverage manufacturers in producing sugar-containing products that American consumers enjoy.
While the increase by 100,000 short tons is a step in the right direction, we know both Departments understand that the U.S. sugar market requires a significantly larger boost in supplies. According to the U.S-Mexico suspension agreements, that further increase will take place in December, when Mexico will receive additional U.S. sugar market access,” according to the Association.
The Sweetener Users Association (SUA) represents American food and beverage manufacturers who use sugar in their products.