Extreme rain, drought decreases world's sugar supply as Halloween nears

Extreme weather conditions are expected to decrease the world's sugar supply by at least 15% through next year, according to Jena Santoro, Everstream's senior manager of supply chain risk.

A global sugar supply could be putting some of America's favorite sweet treats at risk as stores begin to stock shelves three months ahead of an already predicted busy fall holiday.

In total, extreme weather conditions are expected to decrease the world's sugar supply by at least 15% through next year, according to Jena Santoro, a senior manager at Everstream, a company that tracks global supply chains.

The company's data on the shortage shows a combination of factors currently putting processed sweets at risk.

According to Santoro, India has no plans to increase its export quota for the September season.

"Other major producers like Brazil do not have strong stockpiles this year due to late harvests caused by excessive rainfall," she said.


Thailand's sugar supply is expected to be affected by severe drought, causing a significant reduction of 21% in early 2024, Everstream's data shows.

Poor sugar beet harvests this year in the producing countries of Germany, France and Poland are also likely to mean less supply of refined sugar in these countries in early 2024, Santoro said.

As for the U.S., the country is one of the world’s largest sugar producers, with sugarcane accounting for about 45% of domestic sugar and sugar beets leading to 55% of production, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture



Experts said sugarcane grows in climates that are more tropical and are commonly found along the Gulf Coast, while sugar beets tend to do better in a more temperate climate, with less rainfall and cooler air.

While Everstream reported that North America's sugar supply has been threatened by lower-than-average production and a prolonged drought in Mexico, Todd Scott, senior communications manager at Hershey's, said the candy company is well-prepared for trick-or-treat season.

"Sugar prices are the subject of conversation, but we are not in a scarcity situation with sugar supply, and we don’t anticipate any disruptions," Scott told FOX Weather on Tuesday. "Similarly, the price of sugar does not have an impact on our Halloween."

Since June, sugar prices have increased 42% over the last 12 months, Everstream reported. This will likely increase in the year's second half due to fears of continued shortages.

The National Retail Federation estimates about $3 billion is spent yearly on confectionary treats during Halloween.