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Ukrainian sugar union calls for halt to EU exports this year after filling quota

Ukraine has already exported as much sugar to the European Union this year as it is allowed to under EU quotas, analysts said on Monday, and its producers’ union has asked the government to formally suspend further shipments of the sweetener to the bloc.

The EU curbs announced in April followed extensive protests from farmers in the region, who said they faced unfair competition from producers outside the bloc such as Ukraine who do not face the environment-related regulations and bureaucracy they do.

Consultancy APK-Inform quoted Ukraine’s national sugar union Ukrtsukor as saying that Ukrainian sugar exports had reached 262,600 metric tons, the volume defined under EU rules as Ukraine’s quota for 2024.

Ukrtsukor said in a statement it was up to Ukraine to take the initiative to close its border for sugar exports “as soon as possible”.
The union said it believed that would confirm the “constructive position” of Ukrainian sugar growers towards integrating into the European sugar market.

Ukrtsukor told Reuters this month the European Union remained the key destination for Ukrainian sugar exports.

About 493,000 tons of the commodity were supplied to the EU in the 2023 calendar year, but the EU decision to impose limits on Ukrainian sugar would mean a halving of this volume in 2024.

Producers expect that Ukraine may increase white sugar production by nearly 3% to 1.85 million metric tons in 2024, and the exportable surplus could total 950,000 tons in the 2024/25 season.

Ukraine produced 5 million tons of beet sugar during the Soviet era, but has since sharply reduced production due to export problems and competition with sugar made from cane.

In 2023, Ukraine produced 1.8 million tons of white beet sugar after farmers increased the sugar beet sowing area to 250,000 hectares from 186,000 hectares in 2022.

The agriculture ministry said this month it expected 2024 sugar output to reach 1.8 million tons and exports of 900,000 tons.
Source: Reuters (Reporting by Pavel Polityuk; Editing by Jan Harvey)

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