KIEV (Reuters) - Uzbekistan, a major importer of Ukrainian white sugar, has suspended imports from the country, Ukraine’s sugar union Ukrtsukor said on Friday.
“Taking into account that Uzbekistan was the main importer of Ukrainian sugar for the last six months, we can say that we are losing the main market,” Ukrtsukor official Ruslana Butylo said in a statement.
Ukraine exported 560,400 tonnes of white sugar in the 2017/18 season, including 209,900 tonnes to Uzbekistan.
Butylo said Uzbekistan had suspended custom clearance of Ukrainian cargoes without giving an explanation.
The agriculture ministry in Kiev said it could not immediately comment. Uzbekistan’s customs service also had no immediate comment.
It was unclear if Uzbekistan’s move was linked to Russian vessels firing on and capturing Ukrainian ships last weekend, which led to Ukraine imposing martial law this week, citing fears that Russia was planning a full-scale invasion.
Reporting by Pavel Polityuk; additional reporting by Mukhammadsharif Mamatkulov in Tashkent,; editing by David Evans