Tuesday, 05 April 2016

Africa sugar growers are unprepared for EU import quota end

Trade barriers and poor infrastructure are preventing sugar producers in sub-Saharan Africa from accessing under-supplied regions on the continent as an imminent end to import quotas in the European Union compels them to find new markets. A preferential-access deal with the EU for African, Caribbean and Pacific sugar producers ends in September 2017, potentially depriving the farmers further access to a duty-free market. Exports to the EU account for a fifth of the sub-Saharan region’s current annual output of about 7.5 million metric tons, according to Cooperatieve Rabobank UA. While sub-Saharan Africa consumes more sugar than it produces, growers may struggle to plug this shortfall because insufficient infrastructure makes deliveries between regions difficult and import duties lift the cost of sales, said Lindsay Jolly, a senior economist at the International Sugar Organisation.