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Delineating the Relevant U.S. Sweetener Markets


  • Moss Charles B.

    (Food and Resource Economics Department, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida, USA)

  • Schmitz Andrew

    (Food and Resource Economics Department, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida, USA)


The relevant market in the U.S. sweetener complex was a subject of debate in the United States v. Archer-Daniels Midland, Co. & Nabisco court case, in which the defendants successfully argued that price fixing in the non-sugar sweetener market was impossible because sugar and high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) were substitutes. Hence, they were both part of the so-called relevant market. We use cointegration analysis to show that over a large period of time, sugar prices and HFCS were positively correlated. However, focusing only on the time period 1997 through 2001, sugar and HFCS prices are not correlated. This lack of correlation in the later period implies that beginning in 1997, the relevant market for HFCS does not include sugar. Thus questions are continuingly raised as to the competitiveness of the HFCS industry.

Suggested Citation

  • Moss Charles B. & Schmitz Andrew, 2004. "Delineating the Relevant U.S. Sweetener Markets," Journal of Agricultural & Food Industrial Organization, De Gruyter, vol. 2(1), pages 1-19, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:bpj:bjafio:v:2:y:2004:i:1:n:1

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Frank Asche & Helge Bremnes & Cathy R. Wessells, 1999. "Product Aggregation, Market Integration, and Relationships between Prices: An Application to World Salmon Markets," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 81(3), pages 568-581.
    2. Hansen, Peter Reinhard, 2003. "Structural changes in the cointegrated vector autoregressive model," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 114(2), pages 261-295, June.
    3. Gloria González-Rivera & Steven M. Helfand, 2001. "The Extent, Pattern, and Degree of Market Integration: A Multivariate Approach for the Brazilian Rice Market," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 83(3), pages 576-592.
    4. Johansen, Soren, 1988. "Statistical analysis of cointegration vectors," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 12(2-3), pages 231-254.
    5. Oral Williams & David Bessler, 1997. "Cointegration: implications for the market efficiencies of the high fructose corn syrup and refined sugar markets," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 29(2), pages 225-232.
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    Cited by:

    1. Babula, Ronald A. & Newman, Douglas & Rogowsky, Robert A., 2006. "A Dynamic Model of U.S. Sugar-Related Markets: A Cointegrated Vector Autoregression Approach," Journal of Food Distribution Research, Food Distribution Research Society, vol. 37(02), July.

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