EC acts to ensure 'functioning' of the EU sugar market: CORRECTED VERSION

By Jane Byrne

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: International trade, European union, Eu

European Commission measures to open a further 200,000 tonne import quota for raw or refined sugar at zero import duty and the possibility for further imports at reduced import duty via a tendering system have been backed by member states.

The moves were agreed at the Sugar Mangement Committee earlier today and the two measures will now be formally adopted by the Commission in the next weeks.

The EU regulator stressed that the action is in response to the continuing exceptional market circumstances which see the EU sugar market in deficit and world market prices above average EU levels.

Rapidly rising world sugar prices and bad weather, speculative hedging on supplies and stockpiling across the world have combined to leave confectionery manufacturers and the wider food industry worrying about sugar supply​ problems.

The Commission said it has acted to ensure “a fluid functioning of the EU sugar market avoiding any undersupply in the next months.”

EU traders may submit offers for importing sugar at a reduced import duty, and the Commission said it will "assess the volumes and duties offered and decide which bids to accept based on the evolution of the EU and world sugar market situation."

The tender system "would start in July, with regular adjudications in the Management Committee until the end of the marketing year (end of September),”​ said the Commission.

In March, 500,000 tonnes of out-of-quota EU sugar and 26,000 tonnes of out-of-quota isoglucose were released onto the EU market (which would otherwise have been held back until next year).

Moreover, April saw the Commision open up an import quota of 300,000 tonnes at zero import duty.

Correction: This article was amended from the one published on 26 May as the original article had mistakenly stated that the Commission had acted to release 200,000 tonnes of out-of-quota sugar onto the EU market.

Related topics: Regulation & Safety, Cocoa & Sugar

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