High prices mean sugar’s future is sweet

By Elliot Bullman

The Mexican sugar industry expects 2017 to be a good year as prices remain at historical highsand the upcoming harvest is expected to be close to 7 million tonnes.

Sugar production represents 3% of Mexico’s GDPand employs over 2 million people in 16 states,both directly and indirectly.

sugar caneOriginal Image: "Sugarcane and bowl of sugar" byCSIRO, used under CC BY 3.0 license, via Wikimedia Commons.

Sugar union leader Adrián Sánchez said that producers expect to obtain 6.4 million tonnes of sugar by the end of this year’s harvest, bringing the industry closer than ever to itsgoal of surpassing 7 million tonnes.

The union leader saidthe industry is committed to boost productivity, efficiency and timeliness.

Sugar_CaneOriginal Image: "Sugar Cane" by P.K.Niyogi, used under CC-BY-SA-3.0 license, via Wikimedia Commons.

A considerable percentage, 2 million tonnes of the season’s production is expected to be exported to the United States. It is a number thatvaries widely, explained Sánchez, “from 500,000 to 1.2 million tonnes.”

Sugar issued an open call toend speculation about how bad a Donald Trump presidency would be for Mexico, urgingall sectors of the economy to work together insteadto confront any negative outcome.

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Sánchez believes that if the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) is to be renegotiated, a clear mechanism should be set in place to determine how much sugar is to be exported.

Otherwise, the import of American fructose will continue to negatively affect the domestic market.

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