Rising sugar prices: Food vs. fuel?
If you think your mid-afternoon sugar boost is getting more expensive, you’re probably right. Sugar costs have been rising for a while and are getting to levels not seen an almost 30 years. Needless to say, this affects products like candy immediately and directly. Confectionary prices are up almost 10% over this time last year. Raw sugar on world markets is up by 42% over January 2009, and almost double the level in 2008.
There are many contributing factors that are all working together to push the needle. There have been poor cane crops in Brazil and India. Domestic sugar beet production also suffered due to the cool, wet summer. To make matters worse, sugar beet acreage was down as farmers hoped to make more money planting corn.
Resource and commodity pricing problems are going to become more common as the world economy recovers. I suppose we should be gratified to see such signs, even though they may be painful for a time.
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Annual Salary Survey
After almost a decade of uncertainty, the confidence of plant floor managers is soaring. Even with a number of challenges and while implementing new technologies, there is a renewed sense of optimism among plant managers about their business and their future.
The respondents to the 2014 Plant Engineering Salary Survey come from throughout the U.S. and serve a variety of industries, but they are uniform in their optimism about manufacturing. This year’s survey found 79% consider manufacturing a secure career. That’s up from 75% in 2013 and significantly higher than the 63% figure when Plant Engineering first started asking that question a decade ago.