US sugar production is an annual $10 billion industry and while the country is not a major exporter of the commodity, it is one of the biggest importers in the world.
Annually, 60 per cent of sugar product in the US comes from sugar beets, while the remaining 40 per cent comes from sugar cane.
Sugar beet can be grown all year round, making it a highly-prized commodity, while the less hardy sugar cane provides greater yields but is more seasonal.
An interesting fact concerning sugar production is that the sucrose found in all fruits, sugar cane and sugar beet are chemically identical - derived from the process of photosynthesis by the plant in the creation of the nourishment it needs to survive.
Used as a sweetener and ingredient in a host of foodstuffs, sugar production is an important sector in the US, with figures highlighting the average American will consume 45 pounds of sugar each year.
The second-largest net importer in the world, the US operates a number of tariff-rate quotas for the import of raw cane sugar, refined sugar, sugar syrups, specialty sugars and sugar-containing products.
Set by the US Department of Agriculture, there are three main initiatives designed to help US sugar users maintain healthy competition in world markets - the Sugar-Containing Products Re-Export Program, the Refined Sugar Re-Export Program and the Sugar for the Production of Polyhydric Alcohol Program.
Global sugar commodity prices are subject to significant supply and demand forces, with increasing supply between 1994 and 2004 resulting in a significant reduction in value during this period. However, a depleted supply between 2004 and 2006 has seen the commodity rally in recent years.
Another factor that can influence the price of sugar is global oil prices, as sugar has a secondary role as a key precursor in the development of biofuels.