MECAS(11)06 – Government Sugar Trade Related Policy in a New Market Environment: a Survey (English)

* Please note this report is also available in French, Russian and Spanish.

Abstract: A tight global sugar market balance over the past 2 years has put global and national sugar markets under extreme pressure, resulting in extremely high sugar prices. Governments have acted in different ways to moderate these price gyrations for consumers and to ensure availability of supply. Responses have mainly been in sugar trade policy, such as the removal or reduction of import tariffs and the opening of new tariff rate quotas, but some governments have also released strategic stocks into the domestic market. No exporters have gone so far as to ban exports but early April there was discussion within the Brazilian government concerning the possible imposition of an export tax on sugar.

This survey focuses on how governments have responded to high sugar prices. Significant sugar trade policy related reactions to high world market and domestic sugar prices over the past two years are identified and analysed. In the second part of the survey attention is turned to the spawning of new Regional Trade Agreements (RTAs)- in particular Free trade Agreements (FTAs) - due to the lack of progress of the WTO Doha Round.

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