Sweet deal: American Crystal agrees to pay debt with sugar


Moorhead-based American Crystal Sugar will be giving millions of pounds of sugar to the federal government as it defaults on a $71.2 million loan, the Forum of Fargo-Moorhead reports.

The government program was established to provide relief when a glut of sugar depresses prices.

American Crystal CEO David Berg said forfeiting the sugar -- which was used as collateral for the loan -- is the best option due to low sugar prices.

The Star Tribune reports that 195 million pounds of sugar will be forfeited to pay back $46.6 million worth of the debt.

Originally, the company had put up more than 300 million pounds of sugar as collateral to secure the $71.2 million loan.

Berg tells the Forum that defaulting on the loan will not cause a "hit" to the company, but instead will benefit its financial health.

The forfeiture marks the second time American Crystal has defaulted on a government supported loan, as the company defaulted in the 1990s under similar market conditions, Berg told the Forum.

The sugar will remain in warehouses until the government decides how to use it, the paper says.

The Star Tribune says the barter will likely cost taxpayers tens of millions of dollars since the market supply for sugar far exceeds demand.

The default on the loan comes about four months after locked-out workers with American Crystal returned to the job after a 20-month-long contract dispute.

Next Up


Here's how much snow fell in Minnesota on Sunday

Some localized areas saw more than expected.

Lindsay Guentzel

For The Week: What's harder than making a meal plan? Sticking to it!

Lindsay Guentzel says you shouldn't give up on your meal planning routines.

Screen Shot 2019-12-17 at 11.15.34 AM

Two people fatally shot by police in Wadena County, two officers injured

Another man was shot in the altercation, which police claim started when one of the suspects opened fire on officers.

snow, plow

Winter storm warnings issued as snow system shifts in Minnesota

The worst of the snow will now hit further north, affecting areas including St. Cloud and the I-94 corridor.

Matt Dumba

Matt Dumba beats the clock to give Wild sixth straight win

Dumba scored as overtime came to a close for another Wild victory.

Karl-Anthony Towns

Bradley Beal terrorizes Timberwolves in loss to Wizards

Beal and the Wizards handed the Wolves their seventh straight defeat.

Marcus Carr / Gopher basketball

Gophers tourney hopes take another blow with loss to Nebraska

Marcus Carr scored a career-high 41 points, but Minnesota is still winless on the road.

St. Paul police

St. Paul police arrest teenage boy in carjacking crackdown

This comes amid a dramatic spike in Twin Cities carjackings.


Snow latest: Twin Cities set for up to 4 inches

A narrow system will travel across Minnesota overnight.


Fire damages American Crystal Sugar plant in Moorhead

Workers are back inside the American Crystal Sugar plant in Moorhead after a fire broke late Tuesday night. Moorhead Fire Capt. Chad Stangeland told Forum Communications maintenance crews were making repairs to a sugar tank that may have sparked the fire on the fourth floor. Workers were evacuated, but no injuries were reported.

Locked-out union workers agree to sit down with American Crystal Sugar

For the first time since February, talks to end a 9-month contract dispute are scheduled to resume on June 8. About 1,300 workers at Crystal plants in Minnesota, North Dakota and Iowa have been locked out since August.

Selection of American Crystal Sugar CEO as 'Person of the Year' doesn't sit well

The Forum Newspapers has selected David Berg, CEO of American Crystal Sugar as their 'Person of the Year.' Berg is at the center of a dispute between his company and workers which has resulted in a months-long lockout. As you can imagine, workers were less than thrilled to hear the news...