Skip to Content

Sugar industry of the United States

« Back to Glossary Index

**Historical Development of the Sugar Industry in the US**:
– Caribbean sugarcane trade in New York City by the 1720s
– French Jesuit priests planting sugarcane in New Orleans in 1751
– Introduction of sugar refining in Louisiana in 1795
– Louisiana becoming a major sugar producer by the 1840s
– Louisiana producing 25-50% of US sugar by the 1840s
Cuba being the world’s largest sugar producer
– Hawaii’s historical sugarcane production on multiple islands
– End of sugarcane production in Hawaii in 2016

**Sugar Production in the US**:
Sugarcane accounting for 40-45% of US sugar production from mid-2000s to 2019
Sugar beet accounting for 55-60% of US sugar production during the same period
– US sugar production increasing from 6.0 to 8.4 million STRV between early 1980s and 2019
– Commercial growth of sugarcane in Florida, Louisiana, and Texas
– Florida being the largest cane-producing region in the US
Sugar beets being a leading raw material for sugar in the US
– Growth of genetically modified sugar beet varieties from 60% to 95% in 2008/09 to 2009/10
Sugar beets being grown in five regions across eleven states

**Sugar Refining Industry in the US**:
– American Sugar Refining Company controlling sugar refining in the late 19th century
– Federal government’s antitrust action against the company being blocked in 1895
– American Sugar Refining operating the largest sugar refinery in North America in Arabi, Louisiana
– Notable sugar refineries including Hawaii Commercial Sugar and Domino Sugar Refinery
– Long history and significant players in the US sugar refining industry

**Government Support and Regulations**:
– USDA administering a program to ensure a price floor for sugarcane and sugar beet producers
– Program including loans for price support and limits on sugar sales
– Import quota on foreign-made sugar
– Conversion of excess sugar to ethanol fuel
– Imposition of import tariffs on Mexican sugarcane in 2014

**Economic Impact and Future Trends in the Sugar Industry**:
Sugar industry’s significant contribution to the US economy
– Influence of trade agreements, policies, and government programs on sugar production
– Market trends and consumer preferences shaping the sugar industry
– Technological advancements transforming sugar production processes
Sustainability concerns, innovation, global market dynamics, consumer demand, and environmental factors shaping the future of the US sugar industry

The sugar industry of the United States produces sugarcane and sugar beets, operates sugar refineries, and produces and markets refined sugars, sugar-sweetened goods, and other products. The United States is among the world's largest sugar producers. Unlike most other sugar producing countries, the United States has both large and well-developed sugarcane and sugar beet industries. Refined sugarcane, processed sugar beet, and high-fructose corn syrup are all commonly used in the U.S. as added sugars to sweeten food and beverages.

Historically, sugar production was important in the growth of slavery in Louisiana and in the U.S. annexation of Hawaii.

The Sugar Association is the trade association for the sugar industry in the United States. Sugar marketing in the U.S. is supported by sugar producers and the producers of sweetened food and beverages.

« Back to Glossary Index