USDA: No actions under Feedstock Flexibility Program during Q3

By Erin Voegele | July 06, 2017

The USDA Commodity Credit Corp. recently announced that it does not expect to purchase sugar under the Feedstock Flexibility Program during the third quarter of this year.

Under federal law, processors of sugar beets and domestically grown sugarcane can obtain USDA loans when the harvest begins. The loans provide interim financing so that commodities can be stored after harvests, when prices are typically low, and be sold later, when prices are higher. When the nine-month loan matures, the processor can repay the loan in full or forfeit the collateral sugar to the USDA.

The FFP was reauthorized in the 2014 Farm Bill as an option to avoid sugar forfeitures. The program encourages the domestic production of certain biofuels, including ethanol, butanol and other marketable biofuels, from surplus sugar. In 2013, the USDA sold surplus sugar to bioenergy producers under the program.

In its announcement, the USDA cited its June 9 World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates report, which projects that fiscal year 2017 ending sugar stocks are unlikely to lead to forfeitures.

The USDA said it will closely monitor domestic sugar stocks, consumption, imports and other sugar market variables and will continue to administer the sugar program as transparently as possible using the latest data.

The USDA is scheduled to issue its next quarterly update on the program by Sept. 1.