MEXICO TO INCREASE SUGAR IMPORTS

Mexico, the world’s sixth-largest sugar producer, may boost imports to the highest in at least 16 years as dry weather hurts domestic output, pressuring global supplies as prices hover

near a three-decade high.

Imports may surge to as much as 600,000 metric tons this year, Alejandro Penaloza, chief financial officer of Mexico City-based Chocolates Turin and president of Mexico’s chocolate and candy makers association, said in an interview to Bloomberg. That would be the most since at least 1994, he said. The country imported 390,000 tons last year, according to Mexico’s sugar association.

Sugar more than doubled in New York in the past year, reaching a 29-year high on Feb. 1, after rains in Brazil and a weak monsoon in India curbed output from the world’s two largest sugar producers. Global sugar demand is set to exceed supply by 13.5 million tons this season, according to London-based broker Czarnikow Group Ltd.,

and Mexican consumers are pressing the country to approve import quotas to help stem price rises.

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