Contrary to earlier predictions, demand for sugarcane has not increased in recent years. Yet, even though prices and production amounts have also been stable during the last three years, sugarcane growers last year increased their profits by more than 10 percent over the previous year's level.
Any of the following statements, if true about last year, helps to explain the rise in profits EXCEPT:
Many countries that are large consumers of sugarcane increased their production of sugarcane-based ethanol, yet their overall consumption of sugarcane decreased.
Sugarcane growers have saved money on wages by switching from paying laborers an hourly wage to paying them by the amount harvested.
The price of oil, the major energy source used by sugarcane growers in harvesting their crops, dropped by over 20 percent.
Many small sugarcane growers joined together to form an association of sugarcane producers and began to buy supplies at low group rates.
Rainfall in sugarcane-growing regions was higher than it had been during the previous year, allowing the growers to save money on expensive artificial irrigation.