NAFTA & Inter-American Trade Monitor
Produced by the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy
Mexican sugar growers struck in early December against mil owners, refusing to cut or sell cane unless they receive a 40 percent price increase. The highest offer from mill owners has been a 28.5 percent hike. Mill owners have just agreed to a 25 percent pay hike for sugar workers.
Mexico's 61 sugar mills were privatized four years ago, and mill owners claim their debt burden will not allow the price increase. "Instead of buying sugar mills, these people should have bought circuses, because they are acting like clowns," said a frustrated grower. Before the strike, producers hoped for a record 4.4 million ton harvest.
Caribbean sugar producers employ about half a million people, sell about 800,000 tons annually, and have seen rising prices and stable export markets in the European Union, Portugal, and the United States.
Chris Aspin, "Mexico Sugar Growers Continue Strike, Talks, Tuesday," REUTER, December 5, 1995; Chris Aspin, "Mexico Sugar Growers in Day Seven of No Sales," REUTER, December 7, 1995; Bert Wilkinson, "Sugar Producers Rise to New Challenge," INTERPRESS SERVICE, November 13, 1995.