U.S.D.A. announces sugar re-export waivers

by Ron Sterk
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WASHINGTON — Due to large sugar supplies, the U.S. Department of Agriculture on April 30 said it will allow licensed sugar refiners to transfer program sugar to other licensed refiners through Sept. 30, 2013, and will increase the license limit to 100,000 tonnes, raw value, from 50,000 tonnes through Dec. 31, 2014.

Under the Refined Sugar Re-Export Program, the U.S.D.A. said it “will temporarily permit licensed refiners to transfer program sugar from their license to another licensed refiner’s license through Sept. 30, 2013,” and “will temporarily increase the license limit for raw cane sugar refiners from 50,000 tonnes, raw value, of credits to 100,000 tonnes, raw value, of credits through Dec. 31, 2014. Beginning Jan. 1, 2015, the credit limit will revert to 50,000 tonnes, raw value. No change is being made to the 50,000 tonne, raw value, limit for debits on the licenses.”

The public notice will be published in the Federal Register on May 1.

“Today’s actions are intended to facilitate a re-balancing of Re-Export Program licenses and provide greater flexibility for licensees to balance program sugar imports, exports and transfers,” the U.S.D.A. said.

The export waiver changes announced May 1 were one of several options the U.S.D.A. was considering to reduce the current U.S. sugar surplus, which has pushed prices for refined sugar to five-year lows. The U.S.D.A.’s proposed Feedstock Flexibility Program, aimed at transferring excess sugar to the ethanol industry, currently is under final review by the Office of Management and Budget.

The U.S.D.A. said it will continue to monitor the U.S. sugar market and may take further actions if necessary.
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