A new report from CoBank’s Knowledge Exchange Division details the market forces and production dynamics that suggest the industry is well-positioned for a financial rebound, as consumer demand for sugar remains high.
The U.S. sugarbeet harvest last fall marked the fifth biggest year-over-year decline on record, dropping 14% to 28.6 million short tons. Abandonment rates nationwide skyrocketed to the highest level since the Great Depression with 13.5% of U.S. planted acres not harvested due to ongoing wet weather issues. Yields also fell to the lowest level in five years due to late planting and poor harvest conditions. Many U.S. sugarbeet growers financed their spring crop planting with crop insurance indemnity payments and financial aid from USDA while processors struggled with less throughput and lower extraction rates amid high fixed costs.