USDA Announces Additional Actions to Manage the Domestic Sugar Surplus

Commodities

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Contact: Ron Lord, (202) 720-6939

WASHINGTON, June 25, 2013 -- The U.S. Department of Agriculture today announced an additional action to manage the domestic sugar surplus while operating the sugar program at the least cost to the government, as required by law. This action complements USDA's sugar purchase and re-export credit exchange action announced on June 17.

USDA will permit private sector exporters and traders to voluntarily exchange Trade Promotion Agreement Certificates of Quota Eligibility (TPA CQE) granted under the U.S.-Colombia Trade Promotion Agreement (TPA) and the U.S.-Panama TPA for Commodity Credit Corporation stocks. A valid certificate is required for the import of sugar into the United States under a TPA sugar tariff-rate quota, and thus each TPA CQE represents a given quantity of import access. Exchanging sugar for TPA CQE reduces imports into the United States and is designed to reduce the sugar surplus, a less costly option than loan forfeitures.

Today's action is expected to remove around 50,000 tons of sugar from the U.S. market and cost approximately $8 million. This action, in combination with the June 17 announcement, is expected to remove around 300,000 tons of sugar from the U.S. market and cost approximately $38 million, subject to sequester, which is one-third the expected cost of forfeitures. USDA will continue to monitor current market conditions and projections to determine if additional actions are necessary.

The actions announced today and on June 17, build on previous actions USDA has taken to stabilize the domestic sugar market. At the start of fiscal year 2013, USDA announced at minimum allowable levels for both the domestic Sugar Marketing Allotments and the U.S. World Trade Organization raw sugar import tariff-rate quota. On May 1, USDA announced two waivers of provisions in the Refined Sugar Re-export Program, temporarily permitting licensed refiners to transfer program sugar from their license to another refiner's license through Sept. 30, 2013, and temporarily increasing their license limit from 50,000 metric tons raw value of credits to 100,000 metric tons raw value of credits through Dec. 31, 2014.

CCC will acquire sugar stocks pursuant to the process it outlined in its June 17 publication Announcement KCPBS2. For additional details on the CQE exchange announced today, please check the Federal Register notice at: https://federalregister.gov/a/2013-15285. The Farm Service Agency has revised the invitation for U.S. sugarcane and sugar beet processors to sell sugar to CCC based on this announcement, which can be found on the FSA Commodity Operations website at: www.fsa.usda.gov/Internet/FSA_File/kcpbs2_inv1_amend_1.pdf

USDA will continue to monitor the market situation and will determine if additional steps are necessary.