Sugar import quota not yet granted

HCMC, Dec 3, 2012. Since sugar output in the 2012-2013 crop is enough for domestic consumption, sugar import quota is not granted yet despite the country’s WTO commitment to import 74,000 tons in 2013.

Doan Xuan Hoa, deputy head of the Agro-Forestry-Aquatic Product Trading, Processing and Salt Industry Department under the Ministry of Industry and Trade, said his ministry and the Ministry of Industry and Trade would consider supply-demand at home to decide when to import sugar as committed. The earliest time possible may be August 2013.

Apart from the amount to be imported under the commitment to WTO, it is unsure if local traders can import sugar in 2013, said Hoa.

In 2010, a quota of 300,000 tons was granted, but only 252,000 tons was imported. In 2011, the import quota was 250,000 tons, but local businesses only bought 207,000 tons.

As of April 2012, 26 enterprises had sent their petitions to the trade ministry, seeking permission to import a total volume of 389,000 tons of sugar, versus 70,000 tons under WTO commitment.

Back then, local sugar mills had more than 479,000 tons of refined sugar, enough to meet the demand of those 26 firms, according to the Vietnam Sugar Association.

At a conference on sugar production and consumption in the 2012-2013 crop in October, representatives of sugar-consuming firms said local sugar prices were higher than the world’s prices and often changed every month. Therefore, they wanted to import sugar.

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