Sugar Price Increases Have Exceeded Food Producer Price Index; Congress Can Help With Reforms in the Next Farm Bill
According to USDA data, U.S. sugar prices have increased 126.1 percent in just the past decade (27.2 cents/pound in 2013 to a projected 61.5 cents/pound in 2023). At those prices, U.S. sugar prices were 22.5 percent more than world prices in 2013 and a projected 105 percent more in 2023.
High U.S. sugar costs are more startling when compared to the food producer price index (PPI):
- In 2022, refined beet sugar prices rose at more than twice the rate of the PPI, and cane sugar prices rose at almost three times the rate.
- In 2023, refined beet sugar prices again rose at nearly twice the rate of the PPI, while cane sugar prices rose at near the PPI rate from an elevated base.
The Government Accountability Office affirmed in a recent report that the special protections federal sugar policy provides to sugar growers — as compared to other farm producers — come at the expense of U.S. food companies, which face record-high sugar prices that lead to job loss and higher food costs for consumers.
“Sugar-using companies and consumers are paying much more for sugar thanks to outdated U.S. sugar policy, which Congress can fix,” said SUA President Rick Pasco. “We encourage Congress to modernize the U.S. program in the next farm bill to better serve all stakeholders.”