EU may import sugar at world prices for chemicals, biofuels
The European Union's farm chief will press the bloc's governments tomorrow to approve extra sugar imports, arguing that producers of chemicals, drugs and biofuel can't obtain enough of the sweetener at world market prices.
Chemicals companies ferment sugar to derive products such as ethanol and biobutanol. The sweetener also has a range of uses in drug production, including making enzymes. ”The chemicals industry has told us it has been unable to get sufficient supplies of sugar at world market prices,” Michael Mann, spokesman for Agriculture Commissioner Mariann Fischer Boel, said by telephone from Brussels. „That is why we are proposing expanding the quota for sugar imports.” While the EU guarantees a minimum price to sugar beet farmers and manufacturers such as Tate & Lyle Plc and Suedzucker AG, the bloc's production exceeds the quantity it subsidizes. The EU has reduced the amount of unsubsidized sugar for export to comply with a 2005 WTO ruling. The glut of cheap sugar was promised to chemical, drug and biofuels makers, who now say they can't find enough of it. The extra quota will be roughly 200,000 tons and will last until September, Fischer Boel told agriculture ministers on Tuesday. Her proposal will be discussed at today's sugar management committee and formally proposed at its first meeting next year. The panel can only block a proposal by mustering more than two-thirds of the votes, which are weighted by country according to size. Such defeats are „very rare,” Mann said. (Bloomberg)
Producing journalism that is worthy of the name is a costly business. For 27 years, the publishers, editors and reporters of the Budapest Business Journal have striven to bring you business news that works, information that you can trust, that is factual, accurate and presented without fear or favor.
Newspaper organizations across the globe have struggled to find a business model that allows them to continue to excel, without compromising their ability to perform. Most recently, some have experimented with the idea of involving their most important stakeholders, their readers.
We would like to offer that same opportunity to our readers. We would like to invite you to help us deliver the quality business journalism you require. Hit our Support the BBJ button and you can choose the how much and how often you send us your contributions.