Rising Sugar Prices Won't Prevent Record Halloween Spending

Sugar prices continue their upward journey to new highs, but that shouldn’t prevent consumers from curbing their Halloween spending. From an investment standpoint, getting exposure to rising sugar prices amid inflationary pressures is an ideal move.

Per a Yahoo Finance report, the month of September saw sugar prices and sugar substitutes rise “7.7% compared to a year ago, while candy and chewing gum jumped 7.5%. Prices of other sweets rose nearly 3% compared to last year, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ (BLS) latest Consumer Price Index (CPI).”

“On a yearly basis, the overall sugar and sweets category rose 6.5%, including a 0.3% jump compared to the month prior,” the report added. “That’s higher than overall food inflation, which increased 0.2% in September on a monthly basis and 3.7% year over year. The cost of groceries — food at home — jumped 0.1% and 2.4%, respectively.”

Despite this, the National Retail Federation (NRF) doesn’t see consumers buying less candy this year. The NRF is forecasting that consumers will spend an all-time high of $3.6 billion on candy this year. That equates to a 14% rise versus last year.

When you combine the demand with less supply, that can create substantiated bullishness for sugar prices. India, the world’s top producer of the commodity, is seeing harsh weather that could further crimp production.

“A lot of that increase that you’re seeing is attributed to what the world’s supply is going to look like,” said Andraia Torsiello, Mintec U.S. sugar analyst. “India is actually a major exporter and they’ve had really poor weather conditions, so they’re suffering from a really dry monsoon period.”

An ETF to Appease a Sugar High

As sugar prices continue to make new highs, one way to get exposure is via the Teucrium Sugar ETF (CANE). It’s the only sugar ETF on the market. It’s accessible to investors who want a convenient way to get exposure to sugar, whether it’s to hedge against inflation and/or to diversify a portfolio.

That inflation hedge component is especially crucial in the current macroeconomic environment given the uncertainty of when the U.S. Federal Reserve will loosen monetary policy. The markets fully expect the Fed to eventually lower interest rates when consumer prices hit their target rate. But there’s no determining exactly when inflation’s extended stay will come to an end.

“Unexpected persistence in inflation from any source could prompt upward revisions to the path of policy rates,” the Federal Reserve noted in a Financial Stability Report. “A sharp increase in rates could lead to heightened volatility in financial markets, stresses to market liquidity, and an adjustment in asset prices.”

For more news, information, and analysis, visit the Commodities Channel.