EC must reverse decision on out-of-quota sugar and release internally, CIUS

By Jane Byrne

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Sugar, European union, Tonne

The CIUS is calling for the European Commission to act now to keep sugar supplies within the EU market rather than export the sweetener, with it claiming that EU based confectioners and other food and drink manufacturers are facing sugar supply difficulties.

CIUS, which represents the European sugar using food and beverage industries, ​said that while its members back the Commission’s recent decision to suspend the €98 per metric ton import duty on CXL concessions sugar as a positive step towards maintaining EU sugar market balances it is not significant enough to address the scale of the current issue.

And the association stressed that it has serious concerns regarding the Commission's proposal to open an additional 350,000 metric tonne export quota for out‐of‐quota beet sugar, in light of the fact that “internal market sugar balances remain challenged by lower than expected preferential sugar imports.”

Secretary-General of CIUS, Muriel Korter, told that testimonies it has received of late are proof that both small and large scale sweets and food factory production lines are temporarily being shut down due to the fact that their sugar suppliers are forced to default on contracts as a result of the internal market deficit.

The CIUS contests the estimates that the EC is basing its sugar export proposal on, said Korter, with the Sugar Management Committee relying on dated information, she argues.

Korter said that the CIUS has lobbied the Committee and the EC to reconsider its proposal to export the out of quota sweetener with the industry representatives proposing that the 350,000 metric tonnes be released onto the domestic market instead, thus making it available for European sugar users.

“A negative withdrawal, allowing this volume of sugar to be sold in the internal market, should be applied,”​ stressed the CIUS, whose members purchase and use almost 70 per cent of the European annual consumption of sugar.

Out-of-quota sugar is production exceeding the quantity of the sweetener that EU regulations stipulate can be supplied for food use in the 27-nation bloc’s domestic market.

The Commission announced last week that it will allow an additional 350,000 metric tons of sugar exports in the 12 months ending in September, raising the total limit for out-of-quota shipments to 1 million tonnes.

The CIUS cautions though, that even the negative withdrawal intervention would not be enough to resolve the deficit situation on the EU market and it therefore is urging both the Committee and the Commission “to consider further steps that may be necessary to ensure that market balances are maintained, such as a temporary tariff rate quota on world market imports.”

Raw sugar futures reached the highest level for in nearly 30 years on 11 November, before falling 9.6 per cent after the Commission made its announcement on increasing the out-of-quota sugar export limits.

Related topics: Commodities

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