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Originally published November 6 2010

Global sugar prices soar as Brazilian crop impacted by heavy rains

by Jonathan Benson, staff writer

(NaturalNews) The price of sugar is nearing an all-time high as heavy rains in Brazil, the world's biggest producer of sugar, have caused a significant reduction in crop yields. According to a recent Bloomberg report, sugar production in Brazil's Center South, the most productive sugar region in the nation, plunged 30 percent during the first half of October.

"The white sugar price is moving in unison with the raw sugar rally, which reached a 29-year high yesterday (November 2)," explained Peter De Klerk, a London-based analyst at C. Czarnikow Sugar Futures Ltd. " And it could go even higher if India, the world's second largest sugar producer, decides to cap its sugar exports. After all, India is also the world's largest sugar user.

According to Rabobank International, Indian sugar stockpiles are currently hovering around four million tons, which is six million short of the nation's preferred level of ten million tons. So while the country could potentially make a lot of money exporting some of its stock during the shortage, it may decide to keep it for itself.

Sugar prices in the U.S. are already artificially high because of excessive import taxes. And the federal government also funds corn subsidies that make alternative sugar sweeteners like high-fructose corn syrup artificially inexpensive. In the end, rising prices caused by worldwide shortages could cause sugar-containing food prices to increase.

It is important to recognize that highly-refined processed sugar, or "white" sugar, is damaging to health because it has been stripped of its vitamins, nutrients, minerals, and enzymes. But raw sugar, and raw cane juice in particular, can be a health-promoting food when consumed in balance with other healthy foods. (

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