Trick but no treats? Due to poor harvests and supply problems, sugar shortage has led some candy makers to halt production, despite the upcoming holidays. Meanwhile, prices are skyrocketing.
Harvesting and transport
A sugar shortage is looming. In September, The Wall Street Journal reported the highest sugar prices in four years, and now the consequences are starting to be felt by candy manufacturers at home. In Brazil, the world’s largest sugar producer, freezing temperatures have ruined the sugarcane harvest, while sugar beet harvests were due to the exceptional weather in Western Europe.
Production cannot keep up with demand, so global sugar prices have risen by more than 60% in the past year. Manufacturers are now pinning their hopes on India, the world’s second largest sugar supplier, but the country is also being confronted with the global supply chain issues. Transport is difficult or delayed, and freight rates on key sugar routes have doubled in a year, according to WSJ.
Passing the buck to the consumer
Even the famous Belgian chocolate and sweets producers are experiencing an unprecedented price rise, reports Het Nieuwsblad. Candy manufacturer Confiserie Geldof saw prices for sugar and glucose go up by 30 and 70%. The candy maker had to close its consumer webshop due to supply shortages. According to the Belgian food industry federation Fevia, there is indeed an acute shortage of raw materials.
Sugar prices are likely to remain high for some months, analysts say, increasing the likelihood that sweets will eventually become more expensive on shop shelves too. Several Belgian candy makers confirm that they will implement a price increase in January.