The Department of Agriculture expects imports of an additional 100,000 short tons of refined Mexican sugar to compensate for shortages in U.S. production.

USDA said Monday the Department of Commerce has increased the quantity of Mexican refined sugar permitted to enter the U.S. after USDA notified Commerce of the need.

“This increase in Mexico’s refined sugar export limit will not change the total amount of total sugar imports from Mexico, just the mix between refined and other sugar,” USDA said in a press release.

The news comes after USDA signaled the likely need for additional sugar in the country after “adverse weather in both sugarbeet and sugarcane regions.”

“In the November 2019 World Agricultural Supply & Demand Estimates Report, the U.S. sugar production projection declined by 572,000 short tons raw value from the previous month, while ongoing weather concerns threaten further reductions,” USDA pointed out Monday.

Harvest issues — primarily in the Red River Valley in North Dakota and Minnesota but also extending to other sugarbeet-producing regions — also led to sugarbeets left frozen in the ground rather than harvested and processed into American sugar. The frozen sugarbeets — and the requirement for some of those producers to pay their co-ops for unharvested acres — is leading USDA and members of Congress to study what possible government assistance could be offered.

USDA says it plans to “continue to monitor the market to assess whether supplies are adequate.”

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