WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Agriculture on Sept. 7 said it set the 2012-13 (fiscal 2013) raw sugar tariff-rate quota (T.R.Q.) at 1,231,497 short tons, raw value, equal to the minimum import commitments under World Trade Organization agreements.

The U.S.D.A. established the 2012-13 refined sugar T.R.Q. at 129,251 short tons, raw value, of which 106,825 tons is reserved for specialty sugar imports defined by the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative. The total refined T.R.Q. includes the 24,251 ton W.T.O. minimum committed to by the United States, of which 1,825 tons is reserved for specialty sugar.

The specialty sugar T.R.Q. is first-come, first-served and will be imported in five tranches, open Oct. 12, 2012, for 1,825 tons, Oct. 26, 2012, for 38,850 tons, and Jan. 11, 2013, April 11, 2013, and July 11, 2013, for 22,050 tons each.

Raw cane sugar must be accompanied by a certificate of quota eligibility and may enter the United States until Sept. 30, 2013, the U.S.D.A. said. The U.S.T.R. allocates the raw and refined T.R.Q., except those reserved for specialty sugar, to supplying countries.

The initial 2012-13 T.R.Q. is the same amount as the initial 2011-12 T.R.Q. The latter was increased by 420,000 tons on April 19, 2012. Under statute, the U.S.D.A. cannot adjust the T.R.Q. until April 1, 2013, except for extreme circumstances. The 2012-13 T.R.Q. amount at the W.T.O. minimum was expected by the trade.