Concerns India may destroy Australia’s sugar market
Global organisations weigh in on subsidised sugar
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.