EU calls for preventive withdrawal from the sugar market

Wednesday 31 January 2007

Commissioner Fischer Boel calls for substantial preventive withdrawal from the sugar market to avert probable surplus.

The European Commission took the first steps in a process towards a substantial withdrawal of quota sugar from the market, in order to avoid a significant surplus at the end of the season. Withdrawal means a temporary reduction in the amount of sugar producers can produce under their quota. As such, a proportion of the sugar produced in the 2007/2008 marketing year will either have to be counted against the quota for 2008/2009 or be sold as out of quota sugar for industrial use, i.e. for bioethanol, chemical industry etc. The Commission believes that a provisional figure for withdrawal of at least 2 million tonnes, i.e. corresponding to 12% of the quota, will be necessary. It will make a proposal to the Management Committee in February for a Commission Regulation fixing such a provisional figure. A definitive figure will be set later this year towards October, once the Commission has a clearer picture of the harvest and production of sugar.

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