Con­cerns In­dia may de­stroy Aus­tralia’s sugar mar­ket

Global or­gan­i­sa­tions weigh in on sub­sidised sugar

Central and North Rural Weekly - - FRONT PAGE - GE­ORDI OF­FORD Ge­ordi.of­ford@ru­ral­

THE Aus­tralian sugar in­dus­try is reel­ing af­ter In­dia an­nounced they would be dump­ing five mil­lion tonnes of sub­sidised sugar onto the world mar­ket. As a re­sult, the world’s ma­jor sugar ex­port­ing coun­tries are be­ing urged to come to­gether and make an ur­gent com­plaint against them to the World Trade Or­gan­i­sa­tion.

Chair­man of the Global Sugar Al­liance and man­ag­ing direc­tor of Queens­land Sugar Lim­ited Greg Beashel said the act will have huge im­pacts on the mar­ket.

“Farm­ers in Queens­land, where most of the sugar is pro­duced, are pretty un­happy,” he said.

“The price goes down a lot and the world is now well be­low the cost of pro­duc­tion.

“The mar­ket was al­ready in sur­plus and In­dia has an­nounced it’s dump­ing five mil­lion tonnes of sugar onto an al­ready flooded mar­ket, so it’s a pretty ter­ri­ble sit­u­a­tion to be in.” Mr Beashel said he hoped the dam­age caused from the act had al­ready been done.

“The sugar mar­ket’s typ­i­cal cost of pro­duc­tion is around $400 a tonne,” he said.

“The mar­ket is now around $300 a tonne and to put it all in per­spec­tive the In­dian sub­sidy is $150US a tonne and the world sugar price to­day is $220US a tonne.

“That’s how mas­sive the sub­sidy is and Aus­tralia is the sec­ond low­est cost pro­ducer of sugar in the world, we don’t get any gov­ern­ment sub­si­dies.” He said a case against In­dia is the only thing that can be done to fix the prob­lem.

“If you take five mil­lion tonnes off the mar­ket it will have a mas­sive im­pact,” he said.

“It’s a very volatile mar­ket.”

The an­nounce­ment has also re­ceived con­cerns from the Thai Sugar Millers Cor­po­ra­tion, the Gu­atemalan Sugar As­so­ci­a­tion and Brazil­ian cane in­dus­try group UNICA. “We’ve been in con­tact with our peers and they agree the gov­ern­ments need to take ac­tion,” he said.

“We must stop this as soon as pos­si­ble.” Ex­ec­u­tive direc­tor of UNICA Ed­uardo Leao de Sousa de­scribed the dump­ing as a “bit­ter an­nounce­ment”.

“In­dia sends the wrong sig­nal to the In­dian pro­duc­ers and, in par­al­lel, hurts even more the rev­enues of mills and cane grow­ers through­out the world,” he said.

“Ar­ti­fi­cial so­lu­tions such as ex­port aids, may seem to be an easy so­lu­tion to get rid of sur­pluses but they are highly dis­tortive for in­ter­na­tional trade and must be con­demned.”

❝ Farm­ers in Queens-land, where most of the sugar is pro­duced, are pretty un­happy. — Greg Beashel


RIGHT: GSA chair­man and QSL man­ag­ing direc­tor Greg Beashel said ac­tion needs to be taken against In­dia af­ter their five mil­lion tonne sugar dump.

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