And producers such as Alexander & Baldwin Inc (NYSE:ALEX) Hawaiian Commercial & Sugar were already feeling the impact of a depressed market as Brazil and Thailand engaged in a price war that boosted production amid a worldwide supply glut. It produced 15% more sugar last quarter but sold almost 2% fewer metric tons, and though its agribusiness recorded higher profits, they were offset to a large extent by lower sugar prices and volumes.So news that Mexico's soft-drink industry was voluntarily buying up 400,000 metric tons of sugar was a welcome reprieve, even though the Mexican sugar industry's trade rep said most of the exports to the U.S. were estandar sugar, or a raw, less refined product, and not white sugar. That's not likely to be a sweet sound to sugar users, however. A coalition of food and beverage manufacturers has pushed for reform of the subsidies being paid to producers to help their own bottom line. The Hershey Company (NYSE:HSY), for example, saw a 290-basis-point increase in profit margins as a result of lower commodity costs in the second quarter, and year to date those lower costs have pushed adjusted gross margins 260 basis points higher. The Coca-Cola Company (NYSE:KO) switched to high-fructose corn syrup and aspartame years back because it's cheaper than sugar, but it has also seen its so-called "Mexican Coke" -- the sparkling beverage made with real sugar -- develop something of a cult following. PepsiCo, Inc. (NYSE:PEP) itself introduced its "throwback" style of soda that's made with real sugar to satiate the thirst of consumers looking for better taste.