Since the end of August, the price of sugar has gone from 28 cents a pound to over 40 cents, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, citing industry publications. That's compounded the pricing difficulties the sugar industry faces – the government keeps prices for sugar considerably higher in the U.S. than on the world market by limiting imports and restricting how much sugar can be sold domestically.
The goal is to protect farmers and processors and ensure a steady supply of sugar. However, the price difference means that food manufacturers – and consumers – pay more than if there were no restrictions on imports. The world price for refined sugar averaged 14.18 cents a pound, according to the USDA.