Once considered a rare and exotic sweetener, sugar was not always as widely available or important as it is today. As part of the human diet for nearly all of recorded history, sugar has evolved over time, becoming quite a common commodity. Yet the very simplicity of this common sweetener masks the highly complex and elaborate global trade that has developed around it. Now, The International Sugar Trade offers the only comprehensive reference guide to the worldwide market. A sweeping analysis of the entire sugar industry, it covers everything from the product's historical beginnings to the complex geopolitical and financial forces that have dominated the worldwide sugar trade during recent decades.
Over the past fifty years, especially, the international trade in sugar has changed dramatically. Since it is either imported or exported by every country on earth, sugar has become an integral component of the economic relationships among nations. Because of that unique position, the trade in sugar has both reflected—and been affected by—a wide range of divergent forces, including global politics, health consciousness, the emergence of developing nations as suppliers and consumers, and many others.
Perhaps the greatest change in the international sugar trade has been the trend toward price stabilization. Historically at the mercy of everything from war to weather, the price of sugar has always been extremely volatile. But, following such trends as the development of sugar substitutes, an overall decline in per capita consumption, and an increase in the overall amount of sugar on the open market, the price of sugar has leveled off considerably. This comparatively recent stability has profoundly altered the manner in which sugar is traded on the world market, and while this has created new opportunities to profit in sugar, it has also made trading in sugar commodities more complex than ever before.
In this important new reference, A. C. Hannah and Donald Spence explore the broad scope of the entire sugar market, providing an essential global tour of the international sugar trade in all its intricacy. Everything is here, from cultivation and refinement to importing and exporting, from commodity trading and tariffs to substitutes and consumption. The International Sugar Trade provides comprehensive coverage of:
- The history of sugar—from cultivation and refining to end use
- Trends in world production, consumption, and international trade
- Crucial information on export marketing, contracts, trade, and prices
- The policies of the world's major sugar producers—with particular attention focused on likely developments in Eastern Europe, Asia, and Cuba
- The impact of existing sugar substitutes and those under development
- The sugar trade cycle and marketing chain, descriptions of key players, and detailed coverage of the sugar futures markets.
The International Sugar Trade contains the most essential and up-to-date information currently available. It includes numerous tables and graphs describing production, consumption, and trade for nearly every country. It also includes five complete appendices exploring sugar and the environment; sugar and health; the Brazilian Alcohol Programme; international sugar agreements; and historical statistics covering the period from 1955 to 1994. It is a vital resource for anyone involved in the international sugar trade.
"[The International Sugar Trade] is a comprehensive account of sugar, the commodity. [It] is aimed at a wide audience, from specialists looking for more background to traders coming to sugar for the first time, students, nonspecialists, and laymen in search of an introduction to the fascinating world of sugar."—from the Preface.
The only complete guide to sugar, one of the world's most important and heavily traded soft commodities, this authoritative overview provides in-depth coverage of a wide range of essential topics, including:
- Origins, background, and production
- The world sugar economy today
- The sugar futures markets
- International sugar agreements
- Consumption trends of substitute products
- Key issues for the future