(Adds quote, details)
By Jake Spring
BRASILIA, May 3 (Reuters) - Brazil expects that the Chinese government will not renew certain import tariffs on sugar, a Brazilian Agriculture Ministry official told reporters on Friday.
Agriculture Trade Secretary Orlando Leite Ribeiro said he did not know what the timeline was for the tariffs to end and that further questions should be directed to the Foreign Ministry. When first announced by China in May 2017, the additional sugar tariffs were set to last three years.
“The issue of sugar is being discussed by the Brazilian and Chinese delegations in Geneva and the conversation is going well,” he said, referring to discussions at the World Trade Organization.
“Our expectation is that the safeguard will not be renewed.”
China instituted an additional 45 percent tariffs on sugar imports outside of a 1.94 million tonne quota in 2017 to protect domestic farmers from sinking international prices for the sweetener. That came on top of an existing out-of-quota rate of 50 percent, bringing the total to 95 percent.
Brazilian sugar exports to China plunged as a result.
That total out-of-quota rate was cut to 90 percent in May 2018, and was set to be reduced to 85 percent this month. (Reporting by Jake Spring, Editing by Rosalba O’Brien and James Dalgleish)