World War I And The Destruction Of The Sugar Industry

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With World War I and the destruction of the European beet crops, demand greatly grew by government contracts and from foreign businesses. In particular, the price of cane sugar went up greatly. Investment expanded greatly by both Cuban and U.S. sugar producers. At the start of the war, there was massive purchases of Cuban sugar mills and construction of new U.S. sugar mills. Cuban sugar production soared from two-and-a-half million tons in 1913 to nearly four million in 1920. During the start of this horrendous war, cane sugar prices were at 3.814 cents a pound. By 1920, the price had soared to over twelve cents a pound. This was the year of the Danza de los Millones, where the value of sugar exports increased from $115 million to over $1 billion. All lays of society benefited from this massive surplus. Unionization and agitation amongst the lower layers of society was slim to none.…show more content…
In 1922, beet protection was increased in the U.S., which only furthered the negative effects on cane sugar industry in Cuba. From the year of 1921, the price of cane sugar continued to drop. By 1925, the price for a pound cane sugar dropped to 4.335 cents. Through the 1920s, the sugar industry faced massive problems of overproduction and the zafra (i.e. the harvest of cane sugar) was greatly reduced with each subsequent year. The government of Cuba constantly was in debt and the national deficit increased with each subsequent
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