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Agriculture

USDA solicits new bids for sugar

SPRINGFIELD — The U.S. Department of Agriculture announced the Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC) is offering to sell its recently acquired sugar inventory for use as a feedstock for bio-energy production using the authority of the Feedstock Flexibility Program (FFP). CCC successfully sold 143,143 short tons under its previous FFP tenders.

CCC acquired 296,500 short tons of sugar on Oct. 1, in lieu of cash repayments on its remaining 2012 year sugar loans. The forfeiture of sugar, which was pledged as collateral by processors who receive nonrecourse commodity loans from CCC, was due to a severe reduction in sugar prices in Fiscal Year 2013. This was caused by the U.S./Mexican sugar supply far exceeding demand in the common sugar market. CCC is prohibited by the 2008 Farm Bill from selling its sugar inventory for domestic human consumption unless there is an emergency sugar shortage.

CCC is increasing the minimum FFP bid to 50,000 short tons (100 million pounds) to provide the opportunity for commercial-scale sugar use in bio-energy production.

The Farm Service Agency’s invitation to purchase CCC sugar, as well as the results of earlier USDA sugar actions, can be found on the FSA Commodity Operations website.

General information about the sugar loan program can be found by visiting www.fsa.usda.go and searching for sugar loan program.

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