The European Union faced fresh calls to limit a flood of sugar imports from Ukraine, this time from sugar producers in Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific.
Just like it did with other commodities, the EU lifted import duties on Ukrainian sugar after the outbreak of the Russia-Ukraine war in 2022, prompting a tenfold surge in Ukrainian sugar imports in the 2022/23 season.
That surge is expected to continue both in the current 2023/24 season - running from October to September - and next, prompting a call by EU sugar producers for limits to be restored.
That demand has been echoed by sugar producers in Africa, the Caribbean, the Pacific and other lower income sugar- producing nations, who say the increase in Ukrainian sugar imports to the bloc is harming their sugar industries.
The ACP/LDC Sugar Industries Group called on the EU to find solutions to the issue that don't harm Ukraine, for example by allowing sugar from Ukraine to transit the bloc on its way to its traditional markets.
The African, Caribbean and Pacific countries plus least developed nations in the group are eligible to supply duty free and quota free sugar to the European Union and Britain under special arrangements.
The full list of countries included is Belize, Benin, Dominican Republic, Eswatini, Fiji, Laos, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Sudan, Tanzania, Togo, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
Elsewhere, sugar output from Brazil's top producing region could jump to a record 43.1 million metric tonnes in the 2024/25 season despite lower supplies of the cane crop, sugar and ethanol consultancy Datagro said.