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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Higher Sugar Import Duty Adopted

VedomostiPrime Minister Viktor Zubkov said the higher tariff on imported sugar would protect the domestic sugar beet industry.
The government said on its web site Wednesday that it would introduce a seasonal raw cane sugar import tariff of $220 to $270 per ton for six months from Dec. 1.

The higher tariff, which will vary within the range in accordance with New York raw sugar prices, would be rescinded should Russia join the World Trade Organization before the term expires on May 31, 2008.

The new import regime will replace the current $140 per ton duty on raw cane sugar imports, which has been in place for nearly two years.

Prime Minister Viktor Zubkov signed the order, designed to protect the country's burgeoning domestic sugar beet industry from excessive raw sugar imports, on Friday.

The lowest $220 per ton duty would apply as long as the average monthly New York raw sugar price was no less than $198.43 per ton. The highest $270 per ton duty would apply when New York prices were no more than $99.21 per ton. Should the average New York raw sugar price exceed $259.99 per ton, the higher duty would be rescinded.

Russia consumes about 5.8 million tons of sugar per year, refining more than half of it from domestically grown beet. Analysts expect the country's sugar imports to rise to 300,000 to 350,000 tons in October from 121,529 tons in September and 41,000 tons in October 2006 on expectations of the tariff increase.

Analysts expect the country's beet crop to decline this year, resulting in a drop in output of white beet sugar to 3.1 million to 3.2 million tons from a record 3.3 million tons last year.

An increase in the duty "is bad for sugar, because it will lead to a decrease in imports from Russia, which is such an important buyer" said Eugen Weinberg, an analyst at Commerzbank in Frankfurt.

Reuters, Bloomberg