At the same time all the above is happening “we’re seeing an increase in demand for sugar. The American public is trending towards ‘all-natural’ products. Helping sugar even more is that high-fructose corn syrup is being scrutinized by nutritionists and the public on its potential contribution to obesity. Soda companies that were strictly using high-fructose corn syrup are going back to natural sugar, so much so that the high fructose corn syrup producers are petitioning the FDA to change its product name to ‘corn sugar.’ That’s helping push demand for real sugar higher.”

In 2010, “most experts thought high sugar prices would only carry us into early 2011. But with all these things happening at once, a lot of us now think we’ll see very good prices into next year’s crop.

“Something that’s helped is traditionally the sugar industry here has produced raw sugar. That is then sold to a refinery, which refines it into pure, granulated cane sugar.  

“Recently, some of the sugar industry down here has vertically integrated and purchased ownership into the refineries. That has passed down some of the profits of the refined sugar market to producers and raw sugar millers. That’s really helped us – to capture some of those refining market dollars. Some years, there have been extremely low raw sugar prices while refined sugar prices were much higher. Now, we should be able to better handle the low raw sugar price years.”