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Parliamentary questions
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28 February 2018
Question for written answer E-001235-18
to the Commission
Rule 130
Ashley Fox (ECR)

 Subject:  Access to raw cane sugar refining
 Answer in writing 

EU cane sugar refiners are currently only allowed to import duty-free quota-free sugar from least-developed and ACP countries.

However, according to the Commission’s own analysis, following the abolition of the sugar beet quotas and the ensuing increase in sugar beet production, the EU refined sugar price is extremely low. This has made the EU market less attractive to exporting countries, limiting even further the choice of supply available to Europe’s cane sugar refiners.

Media reports from ACP countries confirm that the EU sugar market is no longer economically attractive to the traditional suppliers, and their local markets are now more profitable than exporting to the EU. In the absence of alternative origins from which EU cane sugar refiners can source competitive raw cane sugar, current FTA negotiations with Mercosur and Mexico are particularly important for diversifying access to duty-free raw material.

1. Does the Commission acknowledge that the inclusion of an ambitious tariff-rate quota for raw cane sugar with zero duty in both Mercosur and Mexico FTAs is the only immediate option to rebalance the situation in the EU sugar market for cane sugar refiners?

2. What alternative measures does the Commission foresee to ensure the long-term viability of cane sugar refineries in Europe?

Last updated: 13 March 2018Legal notice