U.S.D.A. sets 2007-08 sugar import, allocation levels

by FoodBusinessNews.net Staff
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WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Agriculture on Aug. 10 set sugar domestic marketing allocations and import quotas for the 2007-08 marketing year.

The U.S.D.A. set the overall allotment quantity (O.A.Q.), the amount of sugar domestic processors may sell, for marketing year 2007-08 (October-September) at 8,450,000 short tons, raw value, 300,000 tons under the current 2006-07 level of 8,750,000 tons. The amount was divided 4,592,575 tons for beet sugar and 3,857,425 tons for cane sugar. The O.A.Q. was expected to result in a surplus allotment of 70,000 tons in the cane sector, all of which was reassigned to imports, the U.S.D.A. said.

The U.S.D.A. set the 2007-08 tariff rate import quota (T.R.Q.) at 1,231,497 tons, the minimum required under its commitment to the World Trade Organization (W.T.O.). The 2007-08 refined and specialty sugar T.R.Q. was established at 94,251 tons, 70,000 tons above the W.T.O. minimum of 24,251 tons, "to avoid restricting the robust domestic organic food market," the U.S.D.A. said.

"U.S.D.A. notes that these sugar market estimates incorporate the sugar trade expected from the Mexico-United States agreement of July 2006 and full implementation of the North American Free Trade Agreement with Mexico on Jan. 1, 2008," the Department said.

Based on the announced O.A.Q. and T.R.Q. amounts, the 2007-08 ending stocks-to-use ratio was projected at 14%, which was within the traditional range for the domestic market, the U.S.D.A. said.

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