EU Allows Sugar Producers to Sell More, Accepts Import Bids

The European Union authorized local producers to sell more sugar in the domestic market and accepted bids to import further sweetener supplies to reduce shortages in the bloc.

Domestic producers will be able to sell an additional 150,000 metric tons of sugar locally at a levy of 224 euros ($300) a metric ton, the European Commission, the bloc’s executive arm, said today in an e-mailed statement. The commission also accepted bids to import 54,000 tons of raw sugar at a minimum duty of 195 euros a ton and 8,540 tons of white, or refined, sugar at a tariff of at least 240 euros a ton, it said.

Under EU rules, domestic producers can only sell a limited amount within the bloc. The rest, known as out-of quota sugar, needs to be put to non-food use or exported. The limit on local producers’ sales means that some of the bloc’s consumption needs to be met by imports from countries that have preferential access to the EU market. Sugar shortages emerged after shipments from these nations fell short of the commission’s forecasts.

“The commission has made an effort to accept reasonable levies, both on imports and on out-of-quota release,” Roger Waite, a spokesman for the commission, said by e-mail.

The EU will boost sugar supplies in the bloc by 1.2 million tons in the 2012-13 season that started Oct. 1, the Commission said in November. Today’s announcement detailed the first tranche of the additional supplies. Imports and the additional local sales will be allocated “broadly the same quantities,” Waite said in the statement.

More import tenders are scheduled for Feb. 27, May 15 and June 12, the commission said.

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