WASHINGTON — The US Department of Agriculture posted in the Aug. 24 Federal Register that it had increased the 2020-21 (fiscal year 2021) US raw sugar tariff-rate quota (TRQ) by 90,100 tonnes, raw value, (about 99,318 short tons) and had extended the period that TRQ raw sugar imports can enter the United States by one month beyond the end of the 2020-21 marketing year.

The action raises the overall 2020-21 raw sugar TRQ to 1,207,295 tonnes from 1,117,195 tonnes set on July 9, 2020.

The USDA will allow 2020-21 raw sugar TRQ imports to enter US Customs territory through Oct. 31, 2021. Any sugar entering the United States during the extended quota period may be charged to the previous or subsequent quota period with approval from the secretary of agriculture. Thus, additional sugar entered during October (the first month of the 2021-22 marketing year) could be counted as entering in 2020-21.

“These actions are being taken after a determination that additional supplies of raw cane sugar are required in the US market,” the USDA said.

Mexico, under agreements suspending countervailing and anti-dumping duties on sugar from Mexico, typically has first option of supplying extra sugar to the United States. But the USDA in its Aug. 12 World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates report slightly lowered its forecast of 2020-21 imports from Mexico “due to inadequate supplies of below 99.2 pol sugar (raw sugar) in Mexico.”

The Office of the US Trade Representative will allocate the increased TRQ among supplying countries and customs areas.