CIUS group expresses relief at compromise over Ukrainian sugar imports to EU

The CIUS European sugar users organisation has joined several key groups in offering a cautious welcome over a key decision to enable sugar exports to continue from Ukraine to the EU in the wake of the ongoing war with Russia, writes Neill Barston.

As previously reported, the move has caused friction within Europe, with some nations within the trading bloc expressing concern that the suspension of tariffs on the key confectionery ingredient into the region from Ukraine had given it a trading advantage – despite official figures showing that EU sugar prices have been especially buoyant in light of supply deficits that have notably maintained prices.

CIUS has joined with the EFG (European Fermentation Group) and UCAB (The Ukrainian Agribusiness Club) in stating their relief at EU committee decision inĀ  favour of a compromise that will contribute to both the EU and Ukrainian economies.

The organisations’ joint statement read: “While we are glad that the proposed import limiting measures were not made worse by adding 2021 in the reference period, we regret that these unjustified emergency safeguards are included in the first place for sugar.

“The current unbalanced EU sugar market does not warrant limiting duty-free sugar imports from Ukraine. The annual sugar import need is between 2 and 3.5 million tonnes of sugar each year.

“Imports from Ukraine in the marketing year 2022/2023 amounted to 400 000 tonnes. The compromise agreement will already significantly reduce sugar imports from Ukraine for the 2024/25
marketing year, with estimates suggesting a reduction of 3-4 times compared to the previous years of 2022/23 and 2023/24.

“We strongly urge the European Commission to include sugar in the scope of products subject to enhanced monitoring, with a view to assessing the impact of these safeguard measures on sugar using industries and consumers as well as on farmers and sugar manufacturers in both the EU and Ukraine. We encourage the EU and Ukraine to launch as soon as possible discussions on bilateral trade with a view to removing remaining tariffs and quotas, as envisaged by the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement. We look forward to a more constructive way forward as we progress towards accession of Ukraine to the EU.”

The joint position from the groups added that as regards any future policy, safeguard measures should be proportionate and take into account the interests of all stakeholders, adding that the group did not regard the present EU position as model for operating in the long-term.



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