Russia May Cut Raw-Sugar Duty by 70% in Warmer Months
01 февраля 2010 года
2009-11-12 By Maria Kolesnikova
Nov. 12 (Bloomberg) -- Russia may cut a duty on raw sugar by 70 percent to as low as $50 a metric ton during warmer months, when refineries rely on imports, according to the Economy Ministry.
A government commission on protective trade measures advised lowering the tariff “in summer,” Deputy Economy Minister Andrei Slepnyov told reporters in Moscow today. The panel suggested a range of $140 to $270 a ton between August and April, the ministry said by e-mail in response to questions.
The tariff may fall to between $50 and $250 a ton in May through July, the government said today on its Web site after the commission meeting. The group will study extending the reduced tariff through September, the government said.
Russia now taxes imports of raw, or unrefined, sugar at between $165 and $270 a ton, depending on the sweetener’s price in New York. The current tariff is scheduled to expire on Dec. 31. Previously, the government raised the duty from December to June for two years in a row and kept it lower in other months.
The recommendation is a “compromise between sugar producers and consumers,” said Evgeny Ivanov, a sugar analyst at the Moscow-based Institute for Agricultural Market Studies.
Any proposal for a reduction must be approved by the government and published in the official Rossiyskaya Gazeta newspaper before it can take effect.
Imports May Prevail
“All raw sugar will be imported during three months, between May and July” if the proposal goes into force, Ivanov said. The bottleneck will drive up prices and the delivery premium while also putting additional strain on local ports and railroads, he said.
Russia’s raw-sugar imports may almost double next year to about 2.5 million tons from this year’s 1.3 million tons, Ivanov said. Domestically grown sugar beets supply the rest of the country’s annual demand of about 5.8 million tons. Russia is the world’s biggest importer of the sweetener.
The national Sugar Producers’ Union, which groups Russia’s biggest suppliers and traders, forecasts raw-sweetener imports of at least 2 million tons in 2010. The group said imports will reach 1.2 million tons this year.
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