U.S. sugar prices are typically a few cents higher than the world rate due to government policies that restrict imports and support growers. But the gap blew out this year after the government threatened to slap taxes on imported Mexican sugar at the behest of U.S. growers.
Sugar is getting dearer in the U.S. even as it is getting cheaper in most other places. Prices in the global market traded near 5½-year lows in September, though they have rallied a bit since. In the U.S. futures market, the sweetener is 58% more expensive than on the global market.