EU to Import 45,180 Tons of Sugar at Reduced Duty Levels

The European Union will import 45,180 metric tons of sugar at a reduced duty in the last planned tender this season to ease shortages in the market.

The 27-nation bloc accepted bids to import 40,000 tons of raw sugar at a minimum duty of 312.60 euros a ton ($393.72) and 5,180 tons of white, or refined, sugar at a minimum duty of 345 euros a ton at the tender today, the European Commission, the bloc’s executive arm, said in an e-mailed statement. The levy on raw sugar imports is usually 339 euros a ton, while imports of the white variety incur a duty of 419 euros a ton.

The EU took measures to ease shortages after consumers complained. Food manufacturing in the region has been disrupted by a lack of sweetener, according to the Committee of European Sugar Users, a Brussels-based industry group which represents companies including Kraft Foods Inc. (KFT)

The bloc accepted bids to import 399,014 tons of sugar in the seven tenders planned for the 2011-12 season, said Roger Waite, a spokesman for the commission. The bids were for 384,000 tons of raw sugar and 15,014 for the white variety, he said.

White sugar prices in the EU averaged 711 euros a ton in March, the highest level since at least July 2006, the commission said in a report published on its website on May 3.

To contact the reporter on this story: Isis Almeida in London at ialmeida3@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Claudia Carpenter at ccarpenter2@bloomberg.net

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