EU Suspends Some Sugar Import Licenses After May Tender

The European Union suspended some licenses to import sugar awarded last month at a tender to ease shortages because there are questions about the validity of two bids, according to the bloc’s regulatory arm.

The European Commission will cancel the awards if the bids are found to be invalid, it said in a statement e-mailed today in response to questions from Bloomberg. The amount involved is 90,000 metric tons of white, or refined, sugar, according to a person directly involved in the process who asked not to be identified because the talks are private.

Sugar shortages emerged in the EU as shipments from countries that traditionally export there fell short of the commission’s forecasts. Prices in the 27-nation bloc were 738 euros ($977) a ton in January, the most since at least 2006, data from the commission show. Shortfalls prompted the commission to allow for more imports.

“The licenses have been suspended while the relevant authorities seek to provide more details,” the commission said in the statement. “The suspension or potential cancellation of the awards does not necessarily mean that the volumes accepted at the next tender will be higher.”

The EU accepted bids to import 40,000 tons of raw sugar and 116,121 tons of white, or refined, sweetener at a reduced duty, the commission said on May 16. The next import tender will be June 12.

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