EU Will Import 65,834 Tons of Sugar at Reduced Duty

The European Union will import 65,834 metric tons of sugar at a reduced duty in the first of three planned tenders to ease shortages in the market.

The EU accepted bids to import 58,000 tons of raw sugar for refining at a minimum duty of 289.36 euros a ton ($379.84) and 7,834 tons of white, or refined, sugar at a minimum duty of 320 euros a ton at the tender today, the European Commission, the bloc’s regulatory arm, said in an e-mailed statement.

The EU said on April 12 it would allow local producers to sell an additional 250,000 tons of the sweetener domestically after consumers complained about shortages.

Under EU rules, producers can sell a limited amount in the domestic market. The rest has to be exported or put to non-food use. Food manufacturing in the region has been disrupted by a lack of sweetener, according to the Committee of European Sugar Users, which represents companies including Kraft Foods Inc. (KFT)

The next two tenders will take place on May 23 and June 6. The duty charged to import raw sugar for refining is usually 339 euros a ton, according to Roger Waite, a spokesman for the European Commission.

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