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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Sugar Import Duty is Sticking Point

Delays in the country's adoption of a higher seasonal raw sugar import duty are a result of a disagreement over the size of the tariff requested by producers, Agriculture Minister Alexei Gordeyev said Thursday.

"There is a general understanding that this mechanism should be applied, but there's a need to provide additional proof that the proposed rate is adequate," Gordeyev told reporters.

"The additional proof will be prepared as soon as this week," Gordeyev said after a news briefing. He did not say when the meeting to discuss the tariff might take place.

The Economic Development and Trade Ministry said Wednesday that a meeting of a government body to review introducing a seasonal duty of $250 per ton on raw sugar, scheduled for July, had been postponed indefinitely.

The Russian Sugar Producers' Union, the main industry lobby, has been trying to persuade the government to adopt the tariff in place of the current $140 per ton duty in order to protect domestic sugar beet growers and refiners from excessive imports.

Last month the body responsible for drafting government orders -- the Commission for Protective Measures in Foreign Trade -- failed to approve a proposal to set the higher tariff for January to May and December 2008.