Feb. 2 (Bloomberg) -- European Union imports of sugar from countries that have preferential access to the bloc’s market have risen 15 percent so far in the current season, according to broker and researcher C. Czarnikow Sugar Futures Ltd.
The 27-nation bloc had issued licenses to import 611,000 metric tons of the sweetener as of the second week of January, the London-based company said in a report e-mailed today. That compares with 533,000 tons a year earlier, it said.
“Import forecasts for the year stand at approximately 2 million tons, roughly 300,000 tons up on 2010-11 imports,” according to the report.
A group of some of the least-developed nations and states in African, Caribbean and Pacific countries have preferential access to the EU sugar market because they do not have to pay import duty.
The tariff to import from countries that have no preferential agreement with the EU is usually 339 euros ($445) a ton, according to the European Commission, the bloc’s regulatory arm.
EU supplies fell short of demand last season after preferential imports were lower than initial estimates.
--Editors: Sharon Lindores, John Deane
To contact the reporter on this story: Isis Almeida in London at Ialmeida3@bloomberg.net
To contact the editor responsible for this story: Claudia Carpenter at Ccarpenter2@bloomberg.net.