The EU sugar regime

Peter Staude, MD of South Africa's Tongaat-Hulett Group, one of South Africa's largest sugar companies, has set out what the recent EU sugar reforms will mean.

  • A minimum price of E334.20 (or 19.6USc/lb) between 2009 and 2015 for sugar in the EU (which will apply for EU producers and imports). This compares to the current world sugar price of about 11.5USc/lb).
  • Exports from the EU will be reduced from 7m tons to 1.4m tons during that period.

During that period, duty-free access will be allowed for imports from least developed countries (LDCs) in terms of the EU's Everything But Arms (EBA) deal.
There are 50 LDCs, 22 of which produce a total of 2.5m tons of sugar.
Among those LDCs are Zambia, Mozambique and Malawi, but not Zimbabwe and Swaziland (which do not meet the criteria).
Meanwhile demand for sugar related to renewable energy is rapidly increasing – for biofuels/ethanol and for electricity co-generation.