Difficult context for Guyanese sugar sector restructuring faced

Summary
The government of Guyana has announced plans to restructure and downsize the sugar sector, with a focus on the production of direct consumption and specialty sugars for national regional and preferential markets. Revenue diversification through electricity co-generation will also be promoted. Guyana will need to strengthen its marketing infrastructure if it is to be able to compete on regional markets, given the wider trade consequences of EU sugar sector reforms. While EU markets will no longer be a focus, opportunities could exist for the development of new partnerships for the marketing of specialty sugars in Europe.  Read more “Difficult context for Guyanese sugar sector restructuring faced”

Sustainability: Choosing between beet sugar and cane sugar

Summary
While sustainability considerations are not yet a major concern in sugar sourcing, developments in the cocoa and palm oil sectors suggest it will be only a matter of time before sustainability certification is increasingly demanded by food and beverage manufacturers in the EU.  the Bonsucro initiative is an attempt to get ahead of the curve on sustainability certification in the sugar sector. To date however there has been little engagement by ACP sugar exporters in the Bonsucro initiative. Given smallholder sugar producers struggle to obtain sustainability certification there appears to be a case for EU supported ‘aid for sustainability’ programmes to ensure smallholder sugar producers are not systematically discriminated against. Read more “Sustainability: Choosing between beet sugar and cane sugar”

USDA foresees greater price instability as EU sugar production quotas end

Summary
USDA confirms a projected 2.1 million tonnes expansion in EU sugar production, which will transform the EU’s sugar trade position. While this is likely to create far from promising prospects for ACP sugar exporters, capacity utilisation maximisation considerations of individual beet processors could create new opportunities for ACP raw cane sugar exporters. USDA also see’s potential opportunities for raw cane sugar exports to the Southern and eastern periphery of the EU. This will require ACP sugar exporters to get much closer to individual dedicated EU raw cane sugar refiners in the Southern and Eastern periphery of the EU and individual sugar beet co-refiners in core EU sugar beet producing regions. Read more “USDA foresees greater price instability as EU sugar production quotas end”

Multiple challenges pending for ACP sugar exporters

Summary
The production and trade consequences of the abolition of EU sugar and isoglucose quotas are just the tip of an iceberg of challenges facing ACP cane sugar exporters. These developments will be compounded by the uncertain prospects for global sugar markets and the UK’s pending departure from the EU. The overall situation is further complicated by sustained regulatory pressure to reduce the sugar content of processed food and drink products, both in Europe and beyond, and the growing availability of alternative sweeteners. This will create a context where only the most efficient ACP sugar cane industries are likely to be able to compete on the EU27 and the UK markets.  Read more “Multiple challenges pending for ACP sugar exporters”

What are the implications for ACP sugar producers of Tate & Lyle Sugars expectations on UK sugar sector policy post-Brexit?

Summary
Tate & Lyle Sugars continues to put pressure on the UK government to use Brexit to level the playing field between beet processors and cane sugar refiners,  by removing import duties on raw cane sugar. The adoption of such a UK sugar trade policy would carry serious consequences for ACP sugar exporters to the UK market, undermining their competitive position as suppliers to the UK market and driving many out of the UK market. Trilateral customs cooperation arrangements could however be put in place, on a transitional basis, to minimise disruption of current supply chains which serve EU27 markets through the UK, not only in the sugar sector but beyond. Read more “What are the implications for ACP sugar producers of Tate & Lyle Sugars expectations on UK sugar sector policy post-Brexit?”

The challenges of Brexit: The illustrative case of Belize

Summary
Belize has one of the highest levels of dependence on the UK market in its trade with the EU of any ACP country (73%). Belize’s agricultural exports would all face significant MFN duties if current duty free-quota free (DFQF) access were lost and no alternative equivalent regime were set in place. What is more, Belize’s agricultural exports to the UK are highly vulnerable to preference erosion, given currently expressed UK trade and agricultural policy orientations for a post- Brexit Britain. Only in the citrus sector could Brexit bring benefits, but only if unnecessary SPS controls were abandoned and current full cost recovery initiatives for SPS inspections are reviewed. Read more “The challenges of Brexit: The illustrative case of Belize”

Sugar market uncertainties for ACP suppliers will be heightened by BREXIT

Summary
The EU sugar market is likely to face increased volatility in the coming years. ACP sugar exporters need strategies to manage this volatility. This situation will be compounded by BREXIT, with 3 ACP exporters (Guyana, Belize and Fiji) facing particularly severe adjustment challenges. Strengthening the functioning of ACP-EU sugar supply chains to prevent abuse of dominant commercial positions within individual supply chains will be essential if ACP sugar farmers are to be protected.
Read more “Sugar market uncertainties for ACP suppliers will be heightened by BREXIT”