BAY CITY, MICH. — With sugar beet harvest in full swing, the Michigan Sugar Co. on Sept. 21 said it canceled the force majeure allocations for beet sugar that had been in place for all contracted business since April 1.
“We are very pleased to remove the force majeure conditions that have been in place the past six months and fully service the needs of our customers from throughout the country,” said Pedro L. Figueroa, vice president of sales and marketing for the company. “Our grower-owners, our management team, and our employees are very excited about getting back in the swing of things and normalizing our inventories.”
Any customer that has met allocated contracted quantities for the second and third quarters can begin to order their balance of contracted quantities available in fourth-quarter carryover contracts, the company said. Those contracts include the 25% adjustment made on second- and third-quarter volumes. The standard lead time still applies to all orders. Some sugar also has been allocated for limited spot sales.
“We do have additional inventory to build, and we will do our best to meet the order needs of our contracted customers,” Mr. Figueroa said. “At times, we may need to move or adjust orders as we continue getting back to strength of supply. We appreciate the patience and support of our customers and business partners as we faced this challenging supply issue. We are looking forward to servicing the sugar needs of our valued partners going forward.”
Michigan Sugar declared force majeure in April as the result of lower-than-expected sugar content in its 2021 sugar beet crop and implemented a 25% shipment reduction to all contracted customers from April 1 to Sept. 30 in addition to withdrawing from the spot market. Harvest of the 2022 beet crop began in late August. The company said it was anticipating a return to more normal sugar content levels in the 2022 crop.
“Our crop looks healthy, and our factories are quickly getting up to speed,” Mr. Figueroa said. “We did lose some acreage this year due to competing crop prices, but the expected sugar content in our beets allows us to move forward with confidence that we can remove the handcuffs, return to more normal sales conditions, and begin fully servicing purchase orders from our contracted customers.”The Michigan Sugar Co. is a cooperative that includes about 900 grower-owners that harvest about 160,000 acres of sugar beets annually in more than 20 Michigan counties and in Ontario. The company’s four processing facilities — in Bay City, Caro, Croswell and Sebewaing, Mich., produce about 650,000 tons of sugar annually.