Monday, November 21, 2005

 

Price Gouging in the Sugar Industry??

Today, on the way to work, I heard that sugar prices were way up. Supposedly due to the hurricanes this year. After doing a little checking, I found this.
Since the end of August, the price of sugar has gone from 28 cents a pound to over 40 cents, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture,...
While this may seem reasonable, no one seemed too happy when gasoline prices went up which also seemed reasonable. This article has sugar at 42 cents per pound as of October 28, 2005.
Sugar is now selling at 42 cents per pound on the wholesale market compared to 24.5 cents per pound a year ago, according to stats compiled by Miller and Baking News, which tracks sugar prices for manufacturers.
Maybe this is an attempt by the sugar industry to drive prices back up for greater profits.

While in the U.S. prices for sugar are over 40 cents per pound, international prices are much lower.
The world price for refined sugar averaged 14.18 cents a pound, according to the USDA.
Ibid.
In the past few years, sugar prices went down without the savings being passed on to the consumer.
Food Manufacturers Pocket Savings, Pass None Along to Consumers

WASHINGTON - The price a farmer received for a pound of sugar in 2004 was 11 percent lower than it was the previous year, according to figures recently released by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Sugar prices fell to 23.5 cents per pound in 2004, down from 26.1 cents a pound in 2003.

Jack Roney, director of economic and policy analysis with the American Sugar Alliance, said it's ironic that this news comes on the heels of a major food manufacturer announcing a steep price hike for confectioner products in 2005.

"Time and time again, we see giant candy companies willing to raise consumer prices to offset increases in their business costs, which they typically and inaccurately attribute to sugar prices," Roney said. "But we never see candy companies lowering consumer prices to reflect the savings they see from slumping sugar prices. That's because they pocket lower farmer prices-there is no pass-through to grocery shoppers."
All of this means more expensive pies, cakes, cookies, Christmas candies, etc. Is it a coincidence that these price increases come during the time of year when sugar consumption is probably at its highest? I doubt it. Simply another example of how corporations rip off the little guy. Contact your Senators and Congressperson.

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