The European Union suspended some licenses to import sugar awarded last month at a tender intended to ease shortages because there are questions about the validity of two bids, according to the bloc’s regulatory arm.
The European Commission will cancel the awards if the bids are found to be invalid, it said in a statement e-mailed today in response to questions from Bloomberg News. The EU accepted bids to import 40,000 metric tons of raw sugar and 116,121 tons of white, or refined, sweetener at a reduced duty last month to ease shortages in the bloc, the commission said on May 16. Another import tender is scheduled for June 12.
“The licenses have been suspended while the relevant authorities seek to provide more details,” the commission said in the statement. “The suspension or potential cancellation of the awards does not necessarily mean that the volumes accepted at the next tender will be higher.”
Sugar shortages emerged in the EU as shipments from countries that traditionally export to the bloc fell short of the commission’s forecasts. Prices in the bloc’s 27 member countries jumped to an average 738 euros ($977) a ton in January, the highest since at least 2006, data from the commission showed. Shortages prompted the bloc to allow more imports.
The commission didn’t say how much sugar the licenses accounted for.
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