WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Agriculture on Sept. 23 announced sugar marketing allotments and marketing assistance loan rates for the 2016-17 crop year that begins Oct. 1.
The initial 2016-17 overall domestic sugar marketing allotment (O.A.Q.) was established at 10,268,000 short tons, raw value, equal to 85% of estimated domestic human sugar consumption for the crop year based on the September World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates forecast of 12,080,000 tons. The 2016-17 O.A.Q. is up 174,250 tons, or 1.7%, from the initial 2015-16 allotment of 10,093,750 tons. Assigned to the beet sector was 5,580,658 tons (54.35% of the total allotment), up 94,705 tons from 2015-16, and to the cane sector was 4,687,342 tons (45.65% of the total), up 79,545 tons.
The overall allotment percentage of 85% and the beet and cane percentages within the allotment are set in law under the sugar program of the farm bill.
The farm bill requires 325,000 tons be assigned to “offshore” states (Puerto Rico and Hawaii). Sugar cane operations in Puerto Rico ended in 2004, the U.S.D.A. said, and all cane operations in Hawaii will by phased out by the end of 2016, although Hawaii will need 45,499 tons of its allotment to market remaining sugar. The U.S.D.A. reassigned 279,501 tons of unused allotments from Puerto Rico and Hawaii to the mainland cane states of Florida, Louisiana and Texas.National average loan rates were set at 24.09c a lb for refined beet sugar and 18.75c a lb for raw cane sugar, unchanged from the prior year. Loan rates ranged from 23.65c to 25.29c a lb for beet sugar and 17.88c to 19.42c a lb for raw cane sugar on a regional basis. Minimum payments to sugar cane growers ranged from $25.44 to $29.11 per ton.