End of sugar quotas in 2013 is 'logical' - Ciolos
EU Agriculture Commissioner Dacian Ciolos reiterated the need for change to the Union's sugar policy as the Commission was forced to ease key elements of the current regime due to continuing supply shortages.
Commissioner Ciolos said sugar quotas were preventing European farmers and processors from fully benefitting from the continuing buoyancy in world markets.
The Commission recently moved to release up to 400,000t of non quota, or out-of-quota, sugar onto the internal market, as well as opening a tender for fixing a minimal duty for exceptional imports into the EU.
In addition, the Commission intends to increase the volume of out-of-quota exports, up to the EU's WTO limit of 1.35m tonnes.
A Commission spokesman said the Commission's actions aimed to ensure that the EU market was well supplied.
"These proposals are designed as the most efficient measures to secure additional quantities for the domestic market -- by both facilitating imports and taking advantage of the abundance of the out-of-quota harvest within the EU," he said.
Commissioner Ciolos said the shortages, which have seen prices increase to more than €1,000/t for white sugar, highlighted the need for reform of the current regime.
"The sugar market situation observed in the EU today again shows the limits of the quota mechanism and its structural shortcomings," Commissioner Ciolos said.