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Friday, 26 August 2011

Europe’s sugar reform program leads to sugar shakeup

The European Union’s sugar reform has caused such supply shortages and price volatility that the United States should be leery of any proposal that would reduce domestic production and make the country dependent on sugar from developing countries that may not be reliable suppliers, European sugar analysts and executives say. The European Union sugar reform since 2006 has been “a recipe of disaster,” Stefan Uhlenbrock, a commodity analyst with German firm F.O. Licht, said at the American Sugar Alliance International Sweetener Symposium, a U.S. growers’ group meeting in Stowe, Vermont. The EU reform, Ulhenbrock said, reduced production and made the EU dependent on imports while maintaining a “prohibitive” tariff on sugar from some countries and allowing duty-free access from former colonies and least developed countries “that cannot deliver the quantities needed or chose not to do so.” One positive development is that the reform has made the remaining EU sugar industry more efficient, Langguth noted, saying that “The EU sugar industry is doing fine, as prices are quite high.”The EU is expected to review the sugar regime in 2015. The sugar executives who attended the meeting were unwilling to speculate on what action the EU might take at that time.Analysts have speculated that the European Commission and Parliament, which would decide the policy for the coming years, will not be willing to encourage more production in Europe because that would be an admission that the reform was unwise, but may be willing to reduce tariffs on sugar imported from Brazil and other major producers.

Source: AGWEEK