Ukrainian agricultural products face new problems in EU as French sugar producers speak up
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The dissatisfaction of European farmers due to the import of Ukrainian agricultural products has spread to the sugar market, writes Bloomberg. French sugar beet producers demand that sugar from Ukraine be re-exported outside of Europe.

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Ukrainian sugar imports to the EU may reach 700,000-800,000 tons in the 2023-2024 season, the French group of sugar beet producers CGB said.

According to the European Commission, this is roughly double the volume of imports in the previous season and is significantly higher than the average figure of 21,500 tons for the five years before that.

Earlier, Ukraine declared that it would limit the export of products to 650,000 tons in all directions this season.

"We need a clear answer from the European Commission on the future management of this inflow of sugar," the CGB stressed.

Despite the growth of sugar imports from Ukraine, its prices in the EU remain high against the background of a global shortage of the product. According to EU data, domestic prices for white sugar are more than 800 euros ($878) per tonne, the highest in a decade.

Sugar prices in Ukraine are the lowest in Europe, despite the fact that the cost of growing beets and fuel for its processing is the same, says Oleksandr Korotynskyi, director of the Sugar Beet Production NPC, a member of the Agribusiness Committee at the Ukrainian Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

In the 2022/23 marketing year, sugar was in demand in Europe: domestic companies, despite logistical problems, delivered almost 18% of sugar from all export supplies to the general market of EU countries. Although European producers can buy raw material and process it at their own facilities, it was more profitable for EU countries to buy Ukrainian products, according to Korotynskyi.

At the end of May 2023, the Cabinet of Ministers temporarily banned the export of sugar, but in July relaxed the ban, allowing exports to Romania. Despite this, the export of sugar from Ukraine last season became one of the largest in history.