The U.S. Department of Agriculture last week increased the fiscal year 2011 refined sugar tariff-rate quota (TRQ) by 150,000 short tons and extended the time period for this sugar to enter the United States to November 30, 2011. This action follows an August meeting between representatives from IDFA, other sugar-using industries and USDA to discuss the need for late-entry imports and a TRQ increase. IDFA believes this action will help mitigate fall and winter supply concerns stemming from a slow beet harvest and a reduction in harvest forecasts.
“This TRQ increase and extension is important for our sugar-using members because the current projected sugar stocks-to-use ratio for fiscal year 2012 is at 10 percent, well below the 15.5 percent which historically has been needed to provide adequate sugar supplies,” said John Kelly, IDFA manager of international affairs. “Under the current farm bill’s sugar program, USDA is not allowed to increase the TRQ for FY 12 above minimum levels until April 1, except in the event of a natural disaster.”
IDFA opposes the current U.S. sugar program because it artificially tightens supplies in the U.S. domestic sugar market, leading to higher costs for processors, increased prices for consumers, and unnecessary and inefficient governmental intrusion into private sector buying, selling and importing decisions.
IDFA members that make ice cream, flavored milk and other products using sugar, about 200 companies in total, have been negatively affected by low domestic supply levels and record or near-record sugar prices.
For more information, contact Kelly at firstname.lastname@example.org or (202) 220-3507.