WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Commodity Credit Corp. on Sept. 27 announced details of the 2019-20 (fiscal 2020) U.S. sugar program as well as 2019-crop sugar loan rates.
The U.S.D.A. announced the initial 2019-20 overall sugar marketing allotment at 10,370,000 short tons, raw value, which equals 85% of the estimated need for domestic human consumption of 12.2 million tons as forecast in the Sept. 12 World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates report, as required under the sugar program. The beet sugar allotment was set at 5,636,095 tons (54.35% of the overall allotment) and refined cane sugar was set at 4,733,905 tons (45.65%). The total 2020 allotment was down 42,500 tons from the initial 2019 allotment, with beet sugar down 23,099 tons and cane sugar down 19,401 tons. The 2019 allotment was adjusted in July 2019 with 700,000 tons (200,000 tons of beet sugar and 500,000 tons of cane sugar) reassigned to imports because of a shortfall in domestic supply.
The farm bill also requires that 325,000 tons of the cane sugar allotment be assigned to “offshore” states (Puerto Rico and Hawaii). Since no cane processors operate in either, that amount was reassigned to Florida, Louisiana and Texas. Farm-level proportionate shares (for which only Louisiana was eligible) were not assigned since the cane sector was not expected to fulfill its allotment.
The U.S.D.A. announced crop-year 2019 rates for marketing assistant loans for sugar as prescribed in the 2018 farm bill, which increased the national average loan rate to 19.75c per lb for raw cane sugar and to 25.38c per lb for refined beet sugar. The rates are adjusted regionally to reflect marketing cost differentials. Marketing assistance loans are offered to processors of sugar beets and domestically grown sugar cane. The loans mature nine months after the first day of the first month in which the loan is made or at the end of the fiscal year (Sept. 30). Producers can deliver the sugar as collateral to the C.C.C. or repay the loan in full.
Fiscal year 2020 (2019 crop) refined beet sugar loan rates for Minnesota and the eastern half of North Dakota are 25.03c per lb, for the northeast quarter of Colorado, Nebraska and the southeast quarter of Wyoming are 25.77c, for Montana, the northwest quarter of Wyoming and the western half of North Dakota are 25.38c, for Idaho, Oregon and Washington are 25.73c, and for California are 26.67c.
Raw cane sugar loan rates are 19.07c per lb for Florida, 20.50c for Louisiana, and 19.67c for Texas. Additionally, minimum prices sugar cane processors must pay growers for their share of production from molasses and sugar per ton of cane were set at $28.16 per net ton in Florida, $30.93 net per ton in Louisiana and $25.99 net per ton in Texas.