GENEVA, April 14 (Reuters) - EU white sugar exports are expected to rise and imports to the 28-nation bloc will likely fall after production quotas are dismantled in 2017, a senior official of French producer Tereos said on Tuesday.
“There will be a lot less imports and more exports,” Alex Luneau, a member of Tereos’s executive committee, told the Platts Kingsman EU seminar.
The European Union has been a net importer under the present protected sugar regime. EU production quotas will be dismantled from 2017, creating a more competitive global sugar market.
Luneau forecast that EU sugar exports would rise to around 3 million tonnes post-2017 from 1.6 million tonnes now, and that imports would drop to 0.5 million tonnes post-2017 from 3.8 million tonnes now.
Luneau said the sugar surplus in France could be around the same level as the aggregated surplus of all other EU net exporting countries after 2017.
He said that in recent years EU sugar producers had become more competitive due to increases in costs of production for major exporters.
Luneau forecast that EU sugar production could rise to 19.0 million tonnes after 2017 from 15.8 million tonnes now. (Reporting by David Brough; Editing by Crispian Balmer)