USDA to Allow More Sugar Imports, Eyes Additional Action
On December 2, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced a new increase in sugar imports up to 450,000 short tons raw value (STRV) for the current fiscal year (FY06) in order to help increase sugar availability in the tight U.S. market. This is the fourth time in recent months that the department has moved to bring in more sugar to the market, which was hurt considerably by this summer's hurricane season that reduced the sugar production and processing potential in Louisiana and Florida.
In the same announcement, USDA stated that it "recognizes that more sugar than the quantity provided for by this action may be needed in this fiscal year to balance the market." The department noted that it will continue to assess the situation on an ongoing basis.
IDFA joined with other members of the Sweetener Users Association in sending a letter to USDA, thanking the department for its decision and agreeing that the market will probably require more incoming sugar.
"This action will provide additional assurance to market participants and much-needed supplies to the marketplace," stated SUA in the letter, noting that "it is highly likely that a further increase in raw and refined tariff-rate quotas will be necessary in order to supply the market adequately."
Specifically, the increased amount of sugar imports is composed of a 150,000 STRV increase in the global, first-come, first-served FY 2006 tariff rate quota (TRQ) for refined sugar, as well as a 300,000 STRV increase in the World Trade Organization (WTO) raw sugar TRQ. This brings the first-come, first-serve TRQ total to 232,815 STRV, and the WTO TRQ total to 1,651,497 STRV.
To read the full USDA announcement, click here. For background information on sugar, click here.
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Posted December 12, 2005