NEW YORK (Reuters) - The United States has reallocated unused quota for importing raw sugar under a reduced tariff scheme, the office of the U.S. Trade Representative said on Thursday in a move to boost supplies after a poor crop.
USTR said it had reallocated 78,071 tonnes of raw sugar under its tariff rate quota scheme with the largest recipients including Dominican Republic (16,397 tonnes), Brazil (13,509) and Australia (7,733).
“A freakish freeze that we had with the sugar beet crop made it so that we don’t have enough to cover our needs,” said Shawn Hackett, an agricultural commodity analyst based in Boca Raton, Florida. “We needed to adjust our quotas to allow for more to come in.”
The TRQ scheme allows for the import of 1.1 million tonnes of raw sugar into the United States.
“This was very much expected and people still think more needs to happen,” one sugar dealer said, noting the United States might also need to grant additional tariff rate quotas to alleviate supply tightness.
Analyst Green Pool, in an update issued earlier this week, saw U.S. production falling to 6.845 million tonnes, tel quel, in the 2019/20 season, down from the prior season’s 7.20 million and if realized the lower domestic output since 2010/11.
Supplies have also been tightened by a drought in Mexico which could curb its exports to the U.S.
Reporting by Nigel Hunt in London; Additional reporting by Jessica Resnick-Ault in New York; Editing by Matthew Lewis