WASHINGTON — The Office of the US Trade Representative in concert with the US Department of Agriculture on March 13 announced the reallocation of about 247,182 short tons, raw value, (224,240 tonnes) of unused country-specific tariff-rate quota (TRQ) imported raw cane sugar for 2022-23 (fiscal year 2023). 

“Based on consultation with quota holders, USTR has determined to reallocate 224,240 tonnes, raw value, of the original TRQ quantity from those countries that have stated they do not plan to fill their fiscal year 2023 allocated raw cane sugar quantities,” the USTR said. 

The reallocation does not change the total 2022-23 raw cane sugar import quota of 1,117,195 tonnes, which is the minimum amount the United States is committed to under World Trade Organization agreements with 40 sugar exporting countries, but it should help reduce the 255,000 short ton, raw value, TRQ shortfall indicated in the USDA’s March 8 World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates (WASDE) report, although it is typical that not all of the reallocated amount will be shipped.

The USDA in its March WASDE report forecast 2022-23 US sugar ending stocks at 1,720,000 tons, down 154,000 tons from February due mainly to sharply lower production and export forecasts for Mexico, the United States’ leading supplier of imported sugar. Imports from Mexico mainly are covered by agreements suspending the countervailing duty and anti-dumping investigations on sugar imports from Mexico, not under the TRQ program. The USDA in its WASDE report forecast the 2022-23 US ending stocks-to-use ratio at 13.5%, which is the bottom of the 13.5% to 15.5% S-T-U ratio that indicates adequate sugar supplies for US users.

The USTR reallocated 224,240 tonnes of raw sugar TRQ imports to the following 25 countries, with Brazil, Dominican Republic and Australia receiving the largest reallocations, in tonnes: Brazil, 42,765; Dominican Republic, 40,000; Australia, 24,479; Guatemala, 14,157; Argentina, 12,682; Peru, 12,092; Panama, 8,553; El Salvador, 7,668; Colombia, 7,078; South Africa, 6,783; Eswatini (Swaziland), 4,719; Costa Rica, 4,424; Thailand, 4,129; Mozambique, 3,834; Guyana, 3,539; Mauritius, 3,539; Zimbabwe, 3,539; Belize, 3,244; Ecuador, 3,244; Honduras, 2,949; Malawi, 2,949; Fiji, 2,654; Bolivia, 2,360; India, 2,360; and Barbados, 500. The USTR announcement will appear in the March 14 Federal Register.