Dear Acting Under Secretary Hafemeister and Deputy Under Secretary Montaño Greene:
At this writing, two major sugar refineries in Louisiana are shut down as a result of Hurricane Ida. According to Sosland Publishing, these two refineries account for approximately 15 percent of the U.S. sugar supply.
With domestic raw sugar prices at multi-year highs, it has been clear for some time that the market is much tighter than indicated by USDA’s estimates of the stocks-to-use ratio. We thank the Department for increasing the raw sugar tariff-rate quota recently and permitting late entry of the TRQ, as well as for USDA’s efforts to ensure prompt allocation of the quota increase. However, prices remain at levels that cannot be considered reasonable, nor can supplies be adequate.
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