NCA welcomes Office of the US Trade Representative imported sugar move

The National Confectioners Association has welcomed a decision by the Office of the US Trade Representative to reallocate unused country-specific quota allocations under the tariff-rate quotas (TRQs) on imported raw cane sugar for 2023, reports Neill Barston.

As the trade organisation noted, it has recently written to president Biden to encourage the government to take action to address high prices and low supplies of sugar for food and beverage manufacturing in the United States.

Notably, the issue was touched upon by NCA president John Downs at this year’s State of the Industry Conference in Miami last week, in which he highlighted the cost of sugar in region – which remains of vital importance to the sector, remains an issue. (See our video review of the key US event here.)

According to MarketWatch, the price of candy and chewing gum increased by a factor of 12.2% year-on-year in recent government data releases. This corresponded with a 13.5% rise in sugar and sugar substitute costs, with the war in Ukraine cited as a key reason for the hike in costs. This in turn has impacted on corn syrup costs, as consumer demand has continued to peak.

Other significant factors were also said to include drought conditions in Brazil, causing harvest failures that resulted in reduced availability of sugar imports.

Commenting on the move by the Office of the US Trade Representative, the NCA said: “While there is still work to be done to fully correct current market conditions, this step towards easing the historically tight sugar supply offers an opportunity for a positive outcome for the confectionery industry. We are grateful to the USTR, as well as their partners at USDA, for their timely action to help navigate these challenging supply chain conditions and ensure that confectionery manufacturers can continue to employ the thousands of American workers who make America’s favourite treats.”

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