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USDA Announces Sugar TRQs, Overall Allotments for FY2013

Oct 10, 2012

The U.S. Department of Agriculture recently announced the sugar tariff rate quota (TRQ) levels and overall allotment quantities (OAQ) for fiscal year 2013. Although the initial TRQ for raw sugar remains at the minimum level, as required by the 2008 Farm Bill, USDA said adjustments may be needed during the year to ensure an adequate supply for domestic manufacturers.  

The TRQ establishes the amounts of raw, refined and specialty sugars that may be imported for domestic use, which includes the manufacturing of flavored milk and ice cream. The OAQ determines the amount of sugar beet and sugar cane that domestic producers are allowed to market.

The initial 2013 TRQ level for raw sugar remains at 1,231,497 short tons raw value (STRV), the minimum level allowed by the World Trade Organization. Refined and specialty sugar TRQs are set at 129,250 STRV; of this amount, 106,825 STRV are reserved to accommodate high demand for specialty sugars in organic food processing. The OAQ has been set at 9,711,250 STRVs for the coming fiscal year.

Stocks-to-Use Ratio

USDA’s supply estimates for the period ending September 30 placed the ratio of U.S sugar stocks-to-use at 13.5 percent, with a projected 12.3 percent ratio for the end of fiscal year 2013. Both are below the 15.5 percent ratio that IDFA historically views as necessary to provide adequate supplies.

IDFA has consistently worked with the Sweetener Users Association to advocate for increasing the sugar TRQ, specifically for high-quality refined sugar used in dairy manufacturing. Following the release of the details for FY 2013, SUA sent a letter to Agriculture Under Secretary Michael Scuse recommending a series of steps to help attain adequate stock levels.

"While still tenuous, the U.S. supply and price situation has been significantly better this year," said John Kelly, IDFA manager of international affairs. "USDA Under Secretary Michael Scuse has been receptive to the concerns of IDFA and other advocates for sugar users."

IDFA will continue to work with Under Secretary Scuse to help increase transparency and provide better market signals and balance in the administration of the federal sugar program.

For more information, contact Kelly at (202) 220-2507 or     


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