The Management Committee for the Common Organisation of Agricultural Markets yesterday voted a Commission proposal to suspend the 98 €/t duty on Most Favoured Nation (MFN) sugar imports from 1 December 2010 to 31 August 2011. This relates to the import of raw cane sugar for refining – as discussed at the October 26 Agriculture Council.
The import possibilities are 666.000 tonnes of which import licences for about 250.000 tonnes have already been issued. High world market prices for sugar currently make the cost of these imports prohibitive, which risks disrupting supplies on the European sugar market. In this kind of situation, the Commission is empowered to act.
In the same meeting of the Management Committee, the Commission announced that it intends to increase the ceiling for out-of-quota sugar exports for the 2010/11 marketing year by 350.000 tonnes to 1 million tonnes. A formal decision on this change will be taken in the near future.